DETROIT - General Motors hasn't voted itself off the island yet.
After balking at CBS' price tag for its next 'Survivor' TV series, GM has negotiated an upfront deal worth between $20 million and $25 million to appear on the next two 'Survivor' series, said a source close to the negotiations.
'Survivor 3' will commence in late September and 'Survivor 4' will air beginning in March. The first two 'Survivor' series featured the Pontiac Aztek. Pontiac purchased spots on the show and gave away two Azteks to contestants.
'We got an enormous pop from the `Survivor' association,' Ron Zarrella, president of General Motors North America, told Automotive News in May.
Although Aztek sales have not met GM's expectations, the Aztek spots received high recognition from the millions of viewers who watched 'Survivor.' Now that GM has cut the deal, the Aztek will not be the sole automotive star of the next two series, confirmed Lynn Myers, general manager of Pontiac-GMC.
'We'll (Pontiac-GMC) have some other vehicles in there, and I think you'll see some other GM vehicles,' Myers said.
Reality-type TV shows have been hot tickets for advertisers, but GM thought CBS' asking price for the two upcoming series was too high. The original show, which debuted in fall 2000, cost advertisers between $4 million and $5 million per series, compared with this year's $10 million to $12.5 million. CBS wanted approximately $15 million to $20 million each for the upcoming two series, sources said.
Staff Reporter Julie Cantwell contributed to this report