Monday, March 02, 2009

Economics of Late Night Television

I've often wondered why shows like Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show don't charge for tickets. Economists often argue that waiting in line is an inefficient way to pay for things, so what do these television execs know that I don't? Then it hit me, waiting in line must be a signal for something that the show wants in its audience. Figured it out? Excitement! If I went to a taping of the Tonight Show, I wouldn't be very excited (until Conan takes over that is). But I would also never wait in line for tickets. By making the show "free" and forcing a line, it weeds out the moderate fans and leaves only the die hards.

UPDATE: It's also possible that they want young (and attractive) fans. Its fairly obvious that youth have a lower price on their time and are more willing to stand in line.


  1. Economics of daytime television:
    I will give 50 bucks to the version person who murders Billy Mays in cold blood.

  2. Please tell me you had to Google his name

  3. It's a sad world of 2 channels I live in my man.
    How the heck did the word "version" get into my comment?

  4. My comments are weird. If you type a word, then it puts it on screen (haha).

  5. Alyssa11:55 PM

    The UCB does not sell/give out tickets to ASSSCAT because the long line is a signal to people that something awesome is going on. Something so awesome that people are willing to wait in the freezing cold for hours on end to see.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.