Bringing in grown-up ratings but being paid like children
I’m sure $15,000 seems like a lot of money when you’re nine, especially if you break it down into mixed lollies.
But heck, even cobbers are 10 cents now. One dollar’s worth of mixed lollies gets you a few strawberries and cream, a banana, a set of teeth, two snakes and some leftover white jelly beans.
My point is while raising $15k requires a lot of hard work for most of us, the prize money on offer for the winner of Junior Masterchef is laughable in TV terms.
So Channel 10 and Fremantle Media get months of TV out of them, ratings and revenue success and at the end of it all, one kid gets $15k in a trust fund, second place gets $10k and third and fourth both get $5k - heck Matt Preston would spend that just on cravats each month (and don’t even get me started on the overly-animated, almost condescending way Anna Gare talks to the kids).
Adam won $100,000 for his win last series, but poor Callum only got a $10,000 scholarship. Talk about ripped off.
Series two made a rumoured $100 million in revenues from advertising, marketing and merchandising… Imagine all the cobbers you could buy with that!
Word is the network has sold six sponsorship packages for the kids’ version at a cost of close to $2 million each. It would appear advertisers are not being charged “kids prices” for the series.
And you’d think production costs this time round wouldn’t be as much either - they only have to pay for kids’ size work boots and think of all the material being saved on those tiny aprons.
But it does raise the question of just how much should a kid earn? They are after all, children, with a limited understanding of money and what the prize means for their future.
Sadly, the cashola will hardly even make a dent in the counselling bill some of these poor kids are gonna need once they’ve been chewed up and spat out by the TV industry.
And handing over a Junior Masterchef winner’s cheque for $100,000 would draw just as much criticism.
But I guess this is the problem with putting kids into an adults’ world. We’re happy to use them to make a TV show, but let’s not pay them the same as the big people.
Producers could at least send the unsuccessful kids home with a set of those plastic steak knives they use.
Or better still, set them all up on a cooking scholarship, where they spend a week of their school holidays studying under some of Australia’s best cooks.
Something that shows the network and production company actually does have the kidlets’ best interests at heart. Not that we ever had any doubt, of course.
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