White Collar TV Show Economics
White Collar is a TV show that was originally aired on USA Network. The show made its debut on television in 2009 and concluded in 2014 after six seasons (Hinckley). White Collar is a criminal show that focuses on the apprehension of white-collar criminals through the efforts of the show’s main characters Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke. Caffrey is a con artist, forger, and a thief who enters into an unlikely partnership with the FBI Special Agent Burke. He helps Burke detain dangerous white-collar criminals as a deal, following his escape from prison with months left of his four-year prison sentence. This partnership, therefore, becomes some form of a work release program for Caffrey. Throughout its run, the show received favorable reviews. For instance, Rotten Tomatoes announced a 100-percent approval rating for the show that received an average rating in the figures of 7.8 out of 10 based on 16 reviews (Hinckley). Another review website called Metacritic also gave the show a favorable review. It received an approval rating of 79 out of 100 (Hinckley). The success of White Collar as a TV show makes it a viable business opportunity that can be used to generate profits. White Collar has successfully acquired a reputation as a top earning and consequently profitable TV show with high returns for all its stakeholders, including its production studio, actors, airing networks, and advertisers.
Due to the company sponsorship of White Collar, the show has been able to generate profits. It is imperative to note that sponsoring a TV show, which can sometimes be referred to as underwriting, is completely different from advertising. In this sense, company’s products are included in the show or references to the company or its products are made (Sicard). Including company’s products or services offered by it in a given TV show is known as placement. For White Collar, the automotive manufacturer Ford became the show’s exclusive automotive partner, following an agreement with USA Network which aired the show. The automotive company was provided with a 60-second commercial pod in which it showcased its vehicles in the show (Crupi). For instance, in the pilot episode of the show, Ford showcased its 2010 Taurus. Moreover, FBI Special Agent Burke has driven this Taurus throughout the first season of the show. In addition, the company was also given the opportunity to show the features of its different motor vehicles by being included in the White Collar narrative in which the characters describe or discuss some of the Ford cars. For example, in episode four of the show, the Active Park Assist feature of Taurus was showed when the character Elizabeth Burke parked into a parallel parking spot. However, not only Ford signed up for the product placement. Another integrated sponsorship comes from a premium spirits company brand, the Ketel One Vodka, which placement in the show is paired with Caffrey, the con artist. Vodka became the character’s signature drink in the second part of the season (Crupi). Consequently, company sponsorship has been essential in fostering the show’s capability of collecting large revenue streams as Ford and Ketel One Vodka paid a significant amount of money for their product placement in the show.
Advertising is another way through which the crime time TV show has been able to prove its profit viability, a factor that has been essential in providing financial benefits to its stakeholders. Advertising has been a sufficient method for White Collar to generate high profits because of the opportunity that the high rating of the show has provided. Ratings are a way of measuring the viewership of a TV show and other television programs. They help to show how many people are watching a particular program, and this information is provided to companies which pay for advertising of their products during the time slot the show is run by its network (Acha). When a show has a large viewership as indicated by its high ratings, companies can advertise their products at the time when it is aired because this is the time when their products will be shown to a considerably large number of people. As a result, it will influence viewers into buying advertised products, increasing firms’ sales. Companies use the profit from these sales to pay for further advertisement of their products.
Furthermore, syndication has proven to be White Collar’s most successful business venture because it is the best way in which a TV show makes money. It occurs when a TV program becomes successful and, as a consequence, the rights to broadcast the show are sold various networks and TV stations individually. When a network of TV station shows interest in it, it earns the right to air the show reruns (Acha 33). The high ratings that White Collar received were an indicator of the show’s success. Moreover, the fact that it had six seasons made it eligible for syndication. ION Television acquired the rights to syndicate White Collar back in 2013. In return, the network paid a specific amount of money for airing this show. It is significant to note that the money made through the process of syndication of a show depends on a number of technicalities. They include the number of times the show can be rerun on the network or TV station that has syndicated it, time slots for its airing and the exclusiveness of the syndication deal.
Another successful business venture and, consequently, a profit generator for White Collar is DVD sales of the show. All seasons of the show have been released on DVD. Season 1 of the show was released on DVD under the title White Collar: The Complete First Season in 2010, followed by the release of season 2 in 2011, season 3 in 2012, season 4 in 2013, season 5 in 2014, and the final season in 2015. Amazon, which is a popular online store, sales the show’s DVDs. Given that it is an online store the DVDs are sold globally due to the ease of accessing to a wider market segment (Young, Gong, and Van der Stede 38). It was highly convenient for most fans of the show who were unable to make subscriptions to the USA Network which aired the show or other chosen channels where White Collar was syndicated. Moreover, making a DVD purchase of the show allows the purchaser to watch all the episodes of the show continuously, which is a preference of some of the fans. To encourage increased sales of the DVD, the producers of the show included deleted scenes of the show, gag reels, episode commentaries, and exclusive features. The royalties from the sale of the show’s official DVDs have generated quite an income, especially after the end of the show in 2014.
TV subscription has also proven to be another way for the show to make money for its stakeholders. In TV subscriptions, viewers pay money to watch certain TV stations or networks and their shows, in particular (Sicard). USA Network which aired the show White Collar is a cable and satellite TV channel. Watching its programming requires viewers to make subscriptions. In other words, viewers make payments to receive their signal on their DVRs or online sites where they can stream the network. Given the popularity of the show, it has encouraged an increase in the subscription to the USA Network of people who were interested in watching it. As a result, this increased level of subscriptions has equally increased revenue streams for the network, which is one of the show’s stakeholders.
In conclusion, White Collar has proven to be more than an entertainment show. It has taken its entertainment characteristic as an opportunity and used it to establish itself as a successful, top earning, and a profitable TV program. It has seen its stakeholders benefit from the various business ventures in which the show has been involved. The cast of the show has ended up receiving handsome salaries for their roles. Furthermore, the production house of the show, Jeff Eastin and Warrior George Productions, and Fox Television Studios have made some good money from the show. Finally, the network where the show was aired, namely USA Network, has also benefited from the profits made from the show. White Collar has managed to make the profits for its stakeholders through business opportunities such as sponsorship through such companies as Ford, the automotive manufacturer, and Ketel One Vodka, a premium spirits brand company. Advertising has also proved to be a successful business venture for the show, which has seen it make a large amount of money for every ad that was aired during its time slot. The show has continued to make earnings even after its end in 2014 through syndication whereby the show’s episodes are aired as reruns. DVD sales and subscriptions have also been some of the ways through which the show has been profitable.