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TELEVISION & RADIO

Bucs may be famous but not especially rich

`Two-A-Days' is a hit for MTV, but the school behind the football reality tale isn't making a mint -- unless you include T-shirt sales.

October 13, 2006|Jay Reeves | Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — "Two-A-Days" is a winner for MTV, but the reality show about Southern football isn't reaping much of a financial windfall for the Alabama high school featured in the series.

Film company Remote Productions Inc. paid $20,000 for the rights to film at Hoover High School for the first season, which ended Wednesday, and a contract shows the second season will mean a maximum of $21,000 for the school system.

Relatively speaking, MTV got quite a bang for its bucks. The network said the show averaged nearly 1.9 million viewers per episode through its first five weeks.

Hoover athletic director Jerry Browning said he'd "absolutely" like for the school system to make more from the show, but "Two-A-Days" was never really about making money for the Buccaneers, the nation's top-ranked high school team until a recent loss.

"The money was never a factor because I knew it wouldn't be significant going in," said Browning, who has negotiated past TV deals for the school. "The whole purpose was to show a high school football team, the work and what all the players go through ... the pressure of being in a successful program."

Still, Browning said, education officials and producers are in talks about the exact amount of compensation for the second year of the show, which followed the story of the Hoover football team through the 2005 season, ending in the Bucs' fourth straight state championship.

"I'm not saying we're trying to renegotiate the contract, but there are some expenses that they may be willing to cover for us," Browning said.

Executive producer Dave Sirulnick has called the show "a success across the board," but MTV didn't immediately return calls seeking comment on any talks with school officials.

A professor who specializes in entertainment law said it's hard to set the correct price for such deals, particularly one where being featured on MTV is so attractive for students and a school.

Browning said that neither the players featured in the show nor their families were paid to participate because of NCAA rules that prohibit even potential college players from profiting from their sport. Hoover coaches also didn't make extra, he said.

Aside from the rights payments, Browning said the show has helped spur sales of Hoover Bucs wear including T-shirts and hats. The booster club, which raises as much as $350,000 annually for the football team, can't keep gear in stock, he said.

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