Star actors in top-earning soap on ?432 a day
Published 07/03/2007 | 00:11
RTE is paying some of the actors in its top soap 'Fair City' only ?432 a day . . . although it earns the station in the region of ?7m each year. But despite its earnings, 'Fair City' costs nearly twice that amount to produce.
RTE is paying some of the actors in its top soap 'Fair City' only ?432 a day . . . although it earns the station in the region of ?7m each year.
But despite its earnings, 'Fair City' costs nearly twice that amount to produce.
New figures reveal that actors on the long-running show such as Orlaith Rafter (Robyn) and David Mitchell (Jimmy) are getting paid a basic average shift rate of ?432 each day they are on set.
But the national broadcaster has revealed that it charges between ?4,000 and ?7,000 for a 30-second ad slot because events in Carrickstown continue to prove a huge draw for viewers.
And with an average of 50 commercial slots sold around each show, it is estimated that 'Fair City' pulls in more than ?20m each year in revenue for RTE.
The show costs the national broadcaster over ?13m to produce, but it is getting more expensive.
The figures, which were released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that one half-hour episode cost, on average, ?61,530 to produce when wages and other production costs are taken into consideration.
The cost of an episode averaged ?59,374 in 2005 and ?56,777 in 2004.
But bosses at Montrose are not convinced that selling 'Fair City' to television stations overseas is a viable revenue stream for the future.
"[It is] made specifically for the domestic market with no concessions in terms of language or themes for an international market," producers said.
The soap has been a regular fixture on RTE since 1989 and now goes out four times a week.
The drama is consistently in the top 10 most watched list.
For the week ending February 25, 'Fair City' was the seventh most-popular programme on Irish television, pulling in 515,000 viewers.
However, the national broadcaster declined to release information on the individual earnings of the likes of Tony Tormey, who plays Paul, or Tatiana Oulliankina who plays Lana. "All actors are free agents and disclosure of their earnings on Fair City could prejudice their negotiations for other acting work," it said.
Two years ago it gave out some salary scales revealing that two stars received between ?90,000 and ?100,000 that year.
RTE refused a request for copies of correspondence between RTE and the actors union, Equity, over pay negotiations.
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