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View Full Version : The move from products sponsoring shows to commercials


etv78
12-19-2010, 09:52 PM
Several years ago, the person credited with the move from products sponsoring whole shows (e.g. "Texxaco Star Theatre") died, I'm blanking on his name. Incidentally, what started this trend?

RealityChuck
12-19-2010, 10:23 PM
There were two main reasons for the change:

1. The official public answer: the sponsors censored the show's content so that they would not allow certain references. The case cited was a show about the German concentration camps sponsored by a natural gas company that ordered no references be made to gassing the prisoners.

2. The more likely answer: it made more money for the networks. If you had a sponsor, you were paid a set amount. If you switched to the "magazine format" (as it was called), you could charge more for an ad if the show was a hit. The down side was that ratings became much more important; a sponsor might be happy with middling ratings -- they got their name out there to plenty of people. But a network wanted high ratings so they could charge more for ads.

I also think one issue was that the networks didn't have money for programming. Having a sponsor paid for the show allowed them to do better, and in the early days, independent TV producers did not have top-quality talent. In the mid-50s, though, the movie studios started producing TV series (I think Warner Brothers were the first), so the networks didn't need the sponsors to pay for production.

alphaboi867
12-19-2010, 10:36 PM
There were two main reasons for the change:

1. The official public answer: the sponsors censored the show's content so that they would not allow certain references...

The words "luck" and "lucky" were never mentioned in dialouge on I Love Lucy because the show's sponser, Philip Morris, didn't want anything that could make people thing of Lucky Strikes.