Saturday, May 21, 2016

And now a problem from our sponsor

A Media Village opinion column reminisces about the supposedly good old days when a single sponsor could dominate a game show.

The writer says that such single sponsorship offered a lot of advantages to the folks paying the freight. No doubt it did, as the show became more or less one long ad for whoever was footing the bill. As the writer puts it...
Sponsorship was a rarefied status back in the day, meaning that advertisers and their agencies had major input into and control over the series to the point where in many instances they owned the programming.
Yes, that's definitely true. But it did lead to the unpleasantness back in the 1950s, when some sponsors decided that straight game shows might be too boring or unappealing.

So the sponsors pressured the producers to make sure that the gameplay was staged dramatically and the more telegenic contestants won. We all know what happened next.

The opinion column somehow omits all this less than edifying history. In fact, the rigging scandals burned the broadcast networks so bad that they made sure no sponsor could have direct control over a game show. Which is something to keep in mind when you read the column in Media Village.

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