NEW YORK — In exchange for NBC affiliates’ helping the network pay the tab on the $13-million-an-episode “ER,” stations could get an additional 30-second local spot in “ER” in addition to 90 seconds in another major primetime show.
That’s one of the scenarios being considered by NBC if the affiliates agree to give up some of their network compensation, according to NBC affiliates.
An NBC representative, however, said that NBC has not discussed such specific possibilities with its affiliates.
A few weeks ago, NBC asked about six affiliates to run the numbers on a variety of plans to see how it would affect stations’ bottom lines.
“The network wants to work out a formula where we come out a little better than whole, where we come out with a little interest,” said one NBC affiliate.
The network conducted a conference call with the NBC affiliate board on Friday, but the affiliate contribution issue was not talked about in detail. Ken Elkins, president and CEO of Pulitzer Broadcasting, described the brief, 20-minute call as “routine.”
“The call (Friday) dealt with the topic of how we’re going to pay for programming in the future, but nothing was put on the table,” said one conference call participant.
” ‘ER’ was brought up casually,” said another affiliate on the call. “There was nothing in detail.”
NBC network president Neil Braun conducted the call. The network indicated it will come back to the affiliate board within two weeks with a formal proposal for affiliate contributions.