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8 Major Ways TV Shows Make Money (Full Details) | 2023

TV shows are the new oil money of the 21st Century. They made tons of money from the announcement of the shows till their release.

The big question here is “How Do TV Shows Make Money?”, how do they generate so much income?

As the country’s first premium television network, HBO has expanded internationally and launched a number of other channels, including HBO Comedy and HBO Latino, since its inception in 1972.

Statistics show that HBO has spent an estimated $1,460,600,000 to bring George R.R. Martin’s vision to life on-screen throughout eight seasons spanning 73 episodes and bringing together 566 characters.

Once again, the big question remains, “How Do TV Shows Make Money?” after spending billions of dollars to produce these movies.

This article will explain the question and help you learn more about the movie industry.

How do Television Shows set up great movies?

The Pilot of all the episodes of TV shows is subject to numerous cuts by the director, showrunner, and studio before being picked up by a network. The pilot is subsequently put through a series of screenings and market tests by the networks.

If necessary, the script will be rewritten based on this data. Regarding casting and hiring, the producer’s job is to direct the showrunner.

The showrunner supervises and guides the production from start to finish, including working with the authors and actors to cast roles.

They can lend a hand when it comes to finding the right director, cast, crew, and even writers and assistant producers. As soon as possible, they begin the process of revising or updating the plot.

Afterward, the cast is auditioned, and the pilot is made and edited. Preproduction, production, and postproduction are the stages of a typical TV show’s preparation.

Stages of TV Show Production:

  • Pre-Production
  • Production
  • Postproduction

1. Pre-Production:

The pre-production stage is the time before filming begins. It is where the analysis of the movie is made and the possible ways the TV shows can make money.

Afterward, there is production and post-production. From the commencement of a film’s conception to the moment the cameras roll, a massive amount of time can pass.

While a movie’s production and postproduction stages may be shorter, neither would exist without the work that goes into preproduction.

Stages of Pre-production:

1. Working on the script for the shoot:

Screenplay completion and conversion into a shooting script are prerequisites for filming. The director, cinematographer, and other camera crew members should have no trouble following the shooting script, just as the actors do.

2. Obtaining Storyboards & Shot Lists:

A script for a film or television production goes hand in hand with this practice. The director and cinematographer should be able to visualize the shooting script thanks to the storyboards and shot list.

Read more: Top 10 Best Acting Schools in the World | 2023

3. Auditioning the Crew: 

Beyond simply taking pictures, filmmaking is all about working together. An audition must be held to find the correct cast for the series.

4. Searching for a location:

In order to get the finest possible location, we propose you engage a professional location scout who knows where to look or who can help you discover new locations ideal for your story.

5. Forming a Budget:

Pre-production is a tedious process, but it’s critical to the success of the film. Make and adhere to a budget, and you’ll be on the road to financial freedom. Budget is an important factor in how TV shows make money.

6. Making the Casting Decisions:

Regardless of the number of actors involved, finding the correct cast is a must.

Casting agents can help you locate the perfect actors and actresses for your show.

Before going into “How Do TV Shows Make Money?”, let’s look at the Production stage.

2. Production:

Foreground actors and stand-ins are the most involved in the production phase.

When a movie or television show goes into production, the actual filming (principal photography) begins.

Actor motions and lighting setups for a scene are blocked out by Stand-Ins who work with the Director, Assistant Director camera crew, and other production team members.

Actors and crew members get a chance to get to know stand-ins, and they may get the opportunity to work more frequently on a movie because of it.

The Director’s job is to notify Background Actors when a scene is ready to be shot. In some scenes, this may entail crossing the camera, which the Assistant Directors will explain to them.

Often, background actors have to be smart to avoid interfering with the sound of the main actors.

3. Postproduction:

Post-production will begin as soon as principal photography is completed. Any special effects that may be required for the project will be included in this step of editing and sound mixing.

This might happen while editing if the director decides to reshoot or shoot more scenes in the middle of the production. For these pick-ups and reshoots, it’s possible to use Background Actors, Stand-Ins, and doubles.

Sound mixing and other special effects are also included in this step. The director may decide to reshoot or add a scene to the various TV programs when they are editing them.

When you reach this stage, all the different post-production teams pitch in with their unique skill sets. At some point in the post-production process, a film’s director must decide whether or not it is good for the viewer.

Read more: Top 10 Actors that didn’t go to Acting School

How TV Shows Make Money in 2023

1. Renting a show to networks:

Most TV shows earn their keep by renting a show to a network. The networks then sell ads and subscriptions to make money.

The networks frequently use the Nielsen ratings to determine whether a show is popular with its target audience.

Increased advertising revenue for the networks is a natural outcome of a well-liked slot by consumers.

This is one of the major ways TV Shows make money.

2. Syndicating a show:

Syndicating a show is another way for TV show creators to gain money. When a television show is syndicated, it indicates that it is shown on a network other than the one that first aired it.

Advertisers will pay a premium to secure a slot on a popular show.

3. Online TV:

The new frontier of television series is online television. Producers now have more creative control over finances for shows thanks to new business structures, which means syndication is less likely.

When a show goes live, the money it generates is vastly different from what it brings in at the end. Advertising, subscriptions, pay-per-view, and sponsorship all contribute to the revenue.

Online television shows are a major source of money and public recognition for many traditional television networks. They often show repetitions and second-screen programs for a monthly charge or per-view.

There has been a major shift in the cable television industry’s business strategy. Thus, Online TVs are one of the major ways TV shows make money.

4. Advertising Revenue

Advertisers who want to tell people about their goods or services buy time slots on TV shows.

The price for an ad spot can be very different based on how popular the show is and when it airs.

A spot during prime time or a big event can cost more because more people are watching.

5. Sponsorship Deals:

The sponsorship arrangement is the agreement between the TV show and the company.

Product endorsements and other forms of branding might be incorporated into the content.

A tech corporation may pay to have its products included in a show, and those products may end up in the hands of fictional characters.

6. International Broadcasting Rights:

International sales can be a good way to make a lot of money.

By selling the rights to networks in other countries, a show can make more money and become more famous worldwide.

7. Subscription-Based Networks:

Networks that operate on a subscription basis, like HBO, generate money directly from their subscribers.

Viewers pay a fee to access their shows, movies, and special events catalog.

8. Streaming Platforms:

Streaming platforms might pay a substantial fee for the rights to host a TV show on their service.

This could be either an exclusive deal, meaning the show can only be streamed on that platform, or a non-exclusive deal, allowing it to be available on multiple streaming services.

NB: TV shows combine these revenue streams to ensure financial viability and allow artists and networks to reinvest in producing more content, keeping the cycle and entertainment flowing on television.

Are TV Shows Profitable?

It’s reasonable to wonder if TV shows can turn a profit at all. In some cases, TV shows can be even more lucrative than movies in terms of box office receipts. Views and advertisements play a role.

TV shows that run for a long time and include many episodes can easily out-earn a movie.

A syndicated version of the show would generate revenue without draining the budget because no new episodes would be produced.

Unlike a single-release movie, a TV series may continuously produce new episodes, increasing its revenue potential. TV shows can be tremendously successful if they have a large audience and a minimal budget, as is the case here.

Frequently Asked Questions on How TV Shows Make Money:

What makes a perfect TV show?

The best plots blend strong writing with unique ideas and demonstrate an in-depth understanding of what inspires and drives characters. If you’ve ever listened to a friend or colleague deliver a rambling story that lacked a logical beginning, middle, or end, you appreciate the value of the structure.

What is important when buying a new TV?

Consider a television that supports advanced standards, such as HDR10+ or Dolby Vision. Some will advocate for both. While OLED televisions appear significantly better than most LCD televisions, QLED televisions like Samsung, Vizio, and TCL provide an affordable alternative. At the very least, four HDMI ports are required.

What makes a good movie or TV show?

The critical components that contribute to a film’s “quality” are when the acting, directing, writing, cinematography, and overall production value all work in unison to create a cohesive, engaging, and impactful tale. A good film employs all these techniques to tell a compelling story that elicits emotion.


How Do TV Shows Make Money? You can see how much money big-budget movies make in their first week or two of release. Movie budget, gross, and net earnings are some of the statistics that IMDb typically displays.

TV shows are an exception because viewers don’t learn when a new season of their favorite shows is set to premiere until after the show has already aired.

To assess if a show is a hit or was axed due to poor ratings, they don’t provide any information on its earnings.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Uche Paschal
Uche Paschal

Uche Paschal is a professional and passionate writer on education, including homeschool, college tips, high school, money and travel tips. He has been writing articles for over 5 years. He is the Chief Content Officer at School & Travel.

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