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"Food Network Re-Slices the Pie"
Monday, August 21, 2006 | posted by Mike

The TVFF.com research gnomes (We use gnomes rather than elves because they work much harder and require less sunlight. Don’t worry, we’re a Union shop.) turned up an article from TV Week titled “Food Network Re-Slices the Pie: Celebrity-Making Channel Seeks Share of Stars' Non-TV Endeavors.” The article outlines a new strategy for signing talent at the Food Network, a strategy that includes agreements with food personalities that would give the Network a piece of the action on non-television opportunites, such as cookbooks. Presumably, these would be branded with the Food Network logo as well.

Over at food network addict, the focus is on the dubious marketing opportunities that this sort of arrangement could generate.

But another thing to keep in mind is how these contracts may impact the relationships the stars have with FN. ; Obviously, anyone on the upswing of his or her career will probably benefit greatly from the added marketing muscle. But there may come a time when the star gets big enough and wants a larger percentage of the money. This is where things could get interesting.

And,Musicians sign terrible deals with managers (think Billy Joel in his “Piano Man” exile) and sports stars quickly become unhappy and disruptive when they feel that they have outperformed the deal they signed (I’m looking at you, Terrell Owens). Quite often, the “talent” is not particularly fond of seeing such a large part of the money that they’re making end up in someone else’s pocket. unlike sports, where the guy to become a free agent and go somewhere else, the options for food celebrities are limited, and there’s no way they’ll make that kind of money at PBS. If the Food Network knows that it’s the only game in town, how hard a bargain will they be willing to drive?

Again, most signs (i.e. not Sara Moulton) point to a tremendous relationship between the Network and its stars. But this is all about money, and money makes everything more complicated.



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