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Reality TV Contracts Being Revealed

Over the past two weeks it looks like Fairfax has had direct line to reality TV contracts this week. First The X Factor contract and now the Masterchef Australia one.

As usual the clauses are interesting in particular controlling the contestants after the show has ended.

In a snapshot here is what it said:

  • Agree to hand over 15 per cent slice of their media income for three years, Banned from Facebook and Twitter;
  • Give production company Shine a sweeping veto over their career once the show finishes;
  • Paid a an ‘‘out of pocket expenses’’ allowance of $630 a week;
  • Shine receiving a 15 per cent commission from any media career income earned by contestants, it also has the right to audit their books and records looking for any underpayment;
  • 15 months after the show finishes, Shine bans contestants from appearing as a host or guest on TV, radio or online shows and talent contests ‘‘relating to your cooking/food preparation abilities’’ without prior permission;
  • Shine also retains similar control over any book, magazine or online publishing deals for a year after the show airs; and
  • And for 14 months after the show finishes, it has a ‘‘final option’’ to match third-party offers for any kind of media work.

The SMH were canny enough to find The X Factor contract earlier in the week.

Here are some of its clauses:

  • Must hand over the rights to their performances, including to be used in non-English speaking markets;
  • Entitled to dub their voice in any language;
  • Can also use personal information about X Factor contestants, including photographs, likenesses and biographical information, and transmit those personal details ”throughout the Universe”;
  • To disclose any criminal offences they have committed, except driving infractions;
  • To sign recording and management agreements based on ”independent legal advice” provided by one of three lawyers ”introduced by the company”;
  • Not to perform on any other TV or radio shows without permission;
  • Licence to the company all rights in the composition(s) for the full period of copyright including any renewals, reversions, revivals or extensions throughout the universe…in all media and formats throughout the Universe.

Whether these contract clauses would stand up to scrutiny is another question as they have never been tested in the Australian courts. Ironcially The X Factor contract came to light as Fremantle lodged in an American court as Samantha Jade’s record label is suing them. Fremantle are arguing they need to sue in an Australian Court. (Source: SMH)


1 Culinary Boner { 09.20.13 at 4:38 pm }

Even Faust and Dorian Gray got better deals than this.
(And probably also got to ‘negotiate’ with a better class of soul-sucking leach than those acting as legal counsel for these reality TV sausage machines).

2 Ari { 09.20.13 at 5:50 pm }

Now I know what people mean by the term, “dealing with the devil”.

3 nibehlung { 09.22.13 at 12:38 pm }

Wow, it’s like handing in your balls and let your legs be chained by….balls.

4 Howard Hunt { 10.25.13 at 9:22 pm }

SHINE is Rupert Murdoch’s ownership. Murdoch is the main sponsor of the “Holocaust on Poor” agenda of the GOPs throughout Fox News. I really don’t know how Australian people can tolerate such a crook.