Producers Paid Sea Shepherd $750K For 'Whale Wars' Access
While the promotion given the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society via the hit reality series “Whale Wars” has been priceless, it appears that the group has managed to squeeze some cash out of cable TV execs.
An annual charity return by the SSCS says that reality TV producers paid $750,000 in 2010 for “access” to the group’s activities; an amount that covered the fuel required for the conservation org’s Southern Ocean anti-whaling campaign.
Paul Watson said earlier that 2010’s Operation No Compromise campaign cost roughly $4M total.
In 2010, the group brought in revenue of $11.4M, ending the year with assets of $6.2M. From the article,
“The society’s chief financial officer, Nicholas Makhani, said 84 per cent of the income came from individual donors, and 16 per cent from merchandise sales. The annual return said $8 million was spent on ”program services” – that is, the organisation’s charitable functions. The rest, $3.4 million, covered administrative and fundraising expenses.”
Salaried employees of SSCS earn between $30K-$60K, while founder Paul Watson is paid $96,000. ”But I brought in $180,000 last year in appearance fees and royalties, which I gave back,” the 61-year-old told TheAge.com.au.
One other interesting tidbit – Doug Tompkins, co-founder of the global clothing brands Esprit and North Face, paid an additional six-figure fuel bill.
Since Animal Planet expanded the “Whale Wars” brand in 2011, I expect that $750K number will jump when returns are filed next year.
For additional details, check out The Age report here.