Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Kwtv Boasts Only Syndicated Bingo Show in Television

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Kwtv Boasts Only Syndicated Bingo Show in Television

Article excerpt

KWTV, Channel 9, a Griffin Television Inc. station in Oklahoma City, has invested about $80,000 in syndicating "Bingomania," a game show that began broadcasting in October.

Bingomania, reportedly the only syndicated bingo show in America, is currently on the air in Oklahoma City, Pittsburg, New Orleans and at KOPM, a Griffin Television station in Fort Smith, Ark. The syndicator, Pridgetel Production of Dayton, Ohio, expects the show will sell to five additional markets by May 1.

"We have 10 stations interested in purchasing the program," said Duane Harm, KWTV president. "There will probably be more in April, once they get their ratings. I think those with weak time slots will probably buy."

KWTV sells a $15,000 license to other stations wanting the rights to produce Bingomania at their own facility. Harm said a daily fee varies based on the market where the station is located. For example, it is more expensive for an Oklahoma City station to purchase a syndicated program than a Fort Smith station, but about 40 percent less than some larger markets.

KWTV then acts as a consultant to the buyers, offering suggestions and advice on set designs and formats. The purchaser uses its own crew in producing the program and hires the talent.

Since Bingomania has been on the air, KWTV's 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. time slot has climbed from No. 3 in the market to No. 2, just behind Donahue on the ABC affiliate, KOCO.

Through sponsors, an average of 600,000 bingo cards in the Oklahoma City area are distributed each week. The largest prize offered to players in the studio audience, or those watching the game on television and calling in to claim their winnings, is $25,000. To date, nobody has won the entire grand prize. The largest win has been $1,000.

About 50 tickets a day are given away for people to comprise the studio audience.

The game is bingo blackout: the first person to call in after filling their card on the 43rd number wins the grand prize. After that, a vacation or automobile is offered, then smaller prize money down to $100. …

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