Seven West Media is reportedly delaying payment to production house Endemol Shine for its Big Brother program, as reported on the Herald.
The delay in payment follows a difficult time for the TV broadcaster, which on Friday saw its share price fall to a record low, with market capitalisation at $378 million, which is 33 per cent below SWM’s net debt load of $564 million.
Seven bought the rights to Big Brother in 2019, which was previously on 10 (and before that on Nine).
The industry rumour mill at the time said both Nine and 10 passed on the opportunity to bring the reality show back.
The Herald cites industry sources suggesting the program costs between $20 million and $30 million to produce, and generally, a broadcaster would provide the production house a significant upfront payment for a new show, with the rest in instalments.
However, it is being reported Seven negotiated with Endemol Shine to pay the entire cost of the show post-production.
While this type of payment arrangement has happened in the past, it is uncommon.
Seven denied B&T‘s request for comment.
Seven has been under pressure since the proposed merger between Seven and Prime was stymied in December. It is also waiting to receive a green light from the ACCC on the proposed merger between its publishing arm Pacific Magazines, and Bauer Media.
With ratings season officially kicking off next Monday 9 Feb, Seven will be relying on its content slate to boost revenue. However, last night’s premiere of its newly revamped MKR cooking show failed to draw in viewers, as just 498,000 Australians tuned in.
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