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$14-million is the cost to sponsor "Survivor 2'

You thought, perhaps, there was nothing more to say about Survivor?

Think again.

CBS has already started lining up sponsors for Australia-based Survivor 2, which won't debut until late January, and advertisers who want in are being told to fork over $14-million _ a hefty $1-million hike over the price of a sponsorship on the original Survivor.

For $14-million, they will get the same package as did Survivor 1 sponsors, writes Inside.com, the Web site that watches the TV industry. That includes 30-second ads during every episode, a presence on the Survivor Web site and more of the product placement that made S1 so much fun to watch _ will you ever forget the Bud Lights Kelly was forced to drink at Club Faux or the care package filled with Target towels?

Inexplicably, CBS is restraining itself and limiting sponsorships to eight, though that would mean the network would pull in a meager $112-million before S2 even debuts. So far, 35 advertisers are interested, says Inside.com, though it doesn't name any.

Now, even though CBS suits have more than tripled the cost of a sponsorship, don't judge them too harshly: The first show was woefully undervalued because nobody, not even the boys of CBS, expected viewership to get up to 51-million people for the finale. A couple of episodes in, however, CBS realized it had a hit and decided to soak last-minute advertisers for $600,000 per 30-second ad during the finale. Think about it: Those lucky sponsors who got in early only averaged about $150,000 for each ad in the 13 episodes.

_ Times wires

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