Chapter 642 Dissolving the program team?
Later that afternoon.
It was almost time to leave work.
At the program team office of The Voice, many of the staff who had been stationed at the recording site were back. They were gathered back here for a short meeting to update each other on the day's work and their progress.
"How's your progress?"
"The progress is a little slow and there aren't too many registrations from the public."
"I couldn't settle my task either; the main issue still hinges on our offer being too low."
"Assistant Director Zhang, are you able to spare us some funds from your side?"
"I can't, I don't have enough to use either. Teacher Zhang specifically instructed that the equipment had to be the best, and after my discussion with the vendors today, I am still lacking some funds. One of the machines went over the budget."
"Ai, we're really too poor."
"I finally understand what 'money makes the world go round' means now!"
"I wonder if Teacher Zhang managed to pull in any sponsors over at his side."
"We're done for. Everyone has such bad opinions of our program and the stage isn't even set up yet. When we have nothing to show for at all, who would even dare to sponsor our program?"
The colleagues were all sighing. At the beginning, when they arrived at this program team, they were all full of anticipation and looking forward to this Central TV Department 1's new program which would be helmed by the legendary Zhang Ye. But who would have thought that they would be regretful after just one day of work? The strong support from Central TV Department 1 was gradually becoming just average support. With the audience not thinking much of it and the program team running out of money, they all felt that there was no longer any future for this program. Darkness lay ahead of them and they felt that if they continued on like this, the program team might even get dissolved before the program could be made.
A rumor had started internally at Central TV Department 1.
"Hey, did you hear?"
"What's the matter?"
"The program team for The Voice is going to be dissolved."
"Ah? Didn't they just form the team recently?"
"They ran out of money, spending 20 million RMB on equipment purchases alone. That was all the station had given to them as funding, but now that they're out of it, they can only sit and watch."
"Would the station just leave them like that?"
"Of course the station wanted to do something about it. They were already planning to make a strong return to the variety genre of programs and did so by risking it with Zhang Ye's employment. But I don't suppose they had expected Zhang Ye to be so risky. Not mentioning the controversy behind the proposed program, but when the 20 million RMB was spent just like that on those equipment, how do you expect the station to give them anymore support? Who wouldn't be fazed by seeing money being spent like that? Even Central TV Department 1 would not have that much spare cash for Zhang Ye to burn through like that. 20 million RMB worth of production costs is already several times more than many of our other programs, so I'm sure the station was already hesitant to approve the initial sum."
"Oh, then this is going to be really interesting to watch."
"Will Zhang Ye be finished even before the ship sinks?"
"The program really won't go on as planned then?"
"Didn't I already say? If we got Zhang Ye to join us, then Central TV Department 1 would not have a day of peace anymore? Now do you all see why? He's only been here a day and such a situation has occurred."
"It's not a problem even if the audience is not too optimistic about the program. After all, he had so many programs that did not look promising before but still succeeded as a precedent, so even if the final product is not completed yet, it would still have been alright. But without money, the problem becomes real. If he can't even invite any celebrity guests or dress up the stage, how can he make any program at all? It can't even be produced and recorded for the audience to watch! Let's just see how The Voice program team is going to solve this."
Central TV Department 1's staff were all discussing fervently in secret, not knowing who had heard about this news or where its source was. It resulted in the rumor intensifying, not only within Central TV Department 1, but also spreading to the other departments housed in Central TV Tower.
Half an hour later.
Zhang Ye came back. He walked into the tower.
Ding. The staff elevator door opened. By coincidence, Chen Ye, the host of Central TV's Spring Festival Gala who had been relegated from the B-list rankings by Zhang Ye, was just walking out of the elevator. He was going in the opposite direction of Zhang Ye.
Chen Ye was a little stunned.
Zhang Ye's expression did not change. He casually swept his eyes over him as he entered the elevator.
To bring it up, although these two had a heated scolding battle on the internet, this was actually their first time seeing each other in person. Chen Ye had a more pronounced reaction as he was, after all, the one who had lost his position to Zhang Ye. Furthermore, the Crossing Half of China to Sleep with You targeted at him by Zhang Ye and his fans had left him grossed out for several days, and became a joke that netizens laughed at for a while. Naturally, when he saw Zhang Ye, it stirred up his feelings quite a bit. But Zhang Ye did not feel anything. He saw Chen Ye? Then so be it. He still went about going where he needed to go and did not stop in his tracks for a moment.
The reason for their different reactions was mainly down to their different experiences. As a Central TV host of this level, Chen Ye was one of the station's pillars and had hosted the Spring Festival Gala before, so he could be mentioned as someone close to the top of the hosting world. He had a high status and hardly ever got into quarrels with anyone nor did he really have experience in such matters. As a result, after the previous fearsome scolding battle with Zhang Ye, it left a mark in his memory, especially since he did not win the battle. But for Zhang Ye? This person was someone who got into trouble so very often and always found the time to scold or beat up someone. For him, those were just part of his daily life, so you could say that he was very used to such situations. Now that he was seeing Chen Ye in person for the first time, Zhang Ye did not show any special reaction to him either. There were really too many people he had offended.
They brushed past each other, but neither one bothered with the other.
There were also a few other people in the elevator, possibly colleagues or staff who knew Chen Ye. When they saw the situation, they also had strange looks on their faces. They followed Chen Ye out of the elevator.
One of them started speaking.
"I heard that The Voice is going to be canceled soon."
"I heard so too."
"The program team was only put together two days ago, and it's going to get canceled so soon?"
"They were too ambitious. For program with a funding of 20 million, they wanted to make it into the standard of several tens of millions more. When the funding couldn't be increased and the advertising deals didn't sell, the only out was to cancel it totally."
"Oh right, Teacher Chen, I heard that your program's title sponsor increased their bid?"
"Yes, it's a newly signed contract."
"Could you reveal to us what kind of a figure it is? Everyone's quite curious about it."
"Yea, Brother Chen, how much did you get?"
"Hur hur, there's nothing confidential about it. It sold for 38 million RMB."
"Woah, that's a new record."
"With the rise of the internet and the decline of the television market, there are fewer and fewer programs that can break 30 million RMB in title sponsorship fees, yet your program's sponsorship is almost at 40 million?"
"Yes, the contract's already been signed."
"Congratulations, Teacher Chen."
"How awesome! The program team I'm working for only managed 12 million RMB for the same thing. 38 million RMB, now that's really an astronomical figure to us!"
Their conversation had inadvertently touched on that topic.
Inside the elevator, Zhang Ye could still hear what they were talking about. Even though the elevator doors had closed and he was separated from them by a large metallic door, the sound insulation wasn't actually that good before the elevator started ascending. When Zhang Ye heard their conversation, he also wondered what they meant by the program team for The Voice was dissolving. Dissolved for what reason? And that title sponsorship fee they were talking about? How could 38 million RMB be called an astronomical figure?
He reached his floor.
Zhang Ye walked back quickly to his own program team's office. Before he could step inside, he already saw some faces etched with worry, as several people gathered around each other looking stunned.
Chenchen, sitting beside Ha Qiqi and playing games, apparently became aware and raised her head to see Zhang Ye walking in. The little kid got off from her chair and said with a sunken expression, "Zhang Ye, why are you only back at this time?"
Zhang Ye said, "Didn't I already say that I had something to do?"
Chenchen was still not looking too happy, probably because she blamed Zhang Ye for not being around to take care of her.
"What's the matter? You don't know how to go to the toilet by yourself? Didn't I tell you before that after you climb up onto the toilet, as long as you don't sit too far back, you won't fall in?" Zhang Ye went up to coax her a little and promised her that she would get more snacks and television time before she was satisfied and went back to playing her games.
As Chenchen walked away, Ha Qiqi and Zhang Zuo suddenly surrounded Zhang Ye altogether.
Zhang Zuo said, "Teacher Zhang, our program team is going to be dissolved!"
Ha Qiqi also said, "I heard from so from many of my friends too. I think it might be true."
"Director Zhang, what should we do now?" Wu Yi was panicking. "Why don't you go look for the director and have a few words with him? Help us to fight against that decision? We went to look for Brother Fu just now, but he wasn't around."
Zhang Ye said in a speechless manner, "Who did you all hear that from?"
A female editor said, "Everyone's talking about it. There isn't smoke without fire, so it was definitely said by someone up top."
Zhang Ye had heard about this as well when he was taking the elevator up. Actually, he already knew that this was just a rumor. No matter how conservative or unreliable Central TV Department 1 was, they wouldn't possibly cancel a program just two days after starting it. If the rumor were true, then that would truly have been most silly. Although Central TV Department 1 had some doubts about him, but with the program not produced yet and with his previous experience and results for all to see, even if Central TV Department 1 wanted to give up on him, they would only decide on that after seeing how The Voice performed after broadcasting. To cut their losses before anything was implemented? That was impossible! Zhang Ye knew that this was surely just a rumor that spread after someone had made a wild guess!
Everyone was just saying what they thought.
Zhang Ye pressed his hands together and spoke reassuringly, "Stop talking everyone. I need all of you to calm your minds. This matter is just a rumor, so please ignore it."
Everyone stopped talking, but their eyes still showed signs of uncertainty. If it were purely just a rumor, then it would be fine, but the problem now was also that their program was out of funding and the station was very unsatisfied with the program and Zhang Ye's handling of the funds. At this moment, when the staff were already very worried that the team would be dissolved, hearing such a rumor only made it feel more real. That was what led to this situation of panic now.
Seeing them in this way, Zhang Ye was angry and tickled at the same time. Was this bro so lacking in prestige? Didn't I already say that I would find a way to settle the money issue? Zhang Ye laughed and said, "Alright then, let me give everyone a piece of good news. This afternoon I went out for a bit and managed to confirm an exclusive title sponsor for our The Voice of China program!"
When Ha Qiqi heard this, she immediately beamed with delight and said, "You got a deal?"
Zhang Zuo also turned from worry to joy and said, "It's only been a few hours and you've already managed to pull in a title sponsor? Teacher Zhang really get things done! It must be because of your great reputation!"
A program that had not officially begun production and did not get much optimism from both industry insiders and the audience-without having any production movements or promotions since it was announced-was able to get a title sponsor? If this were anyone else or any other program team, that would surely be just as good as daydreaming! But Zhang Ye did it. This clearly showed the value of Teacher Zhang's face and reputation. No one else could do something like this!
Highlighting this with an analogy, it was the same as shooting a movie. If you were an average director with an average screenplay, it would be difficult to pull in investments whomever you approached. But if you were a famous, big shot director in the country-with all of your previous films getting several hundred millions in box office earnings, and intended to shoot a new movie today-then even if you did not have a screenplay or proposal yet, as long as you announced that you wanted to make a movie, investors would still arrive in droves, offering to make investments into this project of yours! It was the same logic!
The key question right now was: how much was Zhang Ye's reputation valued at?
A male editor hurriedly asked, "Director Zhang, how much did we get?"
A female administrative staff member asked, "Yeah, Teacher Zhang, how much did we manage to get?"
Zhang Ye kept them in suspense. "Hur hur, guess."
A female editor made a bold wild guess and said, "20 million?"
Zhang Ye shook his head. "Guess higher."
Higher than 20 million? Everyone was getting excited!
Zhang Zuo immediately said, "30 million?"
Zhang Ye laughed and said again, "Even higher than that."
Ha Qiqi took a deep breath before saying, "Could it be...35 million then?"
Zhang Ye said, "Still higher."
Wu Yi said, "Could it be that it's also 38 million? I heard that Teacher Chen Ye's program has finalized their title sponsorship contract with a renewed fee of 38 million. That is already this year's highest title sponsorship fee amount!"
Zhang Ye graciously said, "You can still add to that amount."
That's still not enough??
Everyone was stunned. They said, "Could it be...could it be 40 million?"
When they mentioned the words "40 million," their hearts shuddered. They couldn't help it either, since in their minds, their knowledge and past experiences told them that a singing talent show's title sponsorship fees were only worth around this level. They had a limit and if it crossed that line, it would probably be something that they could not begin to imagine. They did not try to make any more guesses, nor would they be able to guess correctly!
Seeing their expressions, Zhang Ye was feeling extremely pleased with himself.
Ha Qiqi said parched, "Teacher Zhang, just tell us quickly!"
The female editor hounded him and asked, "Yes, Teacher Zhang, don't tease us like this anymore! Just how much did you get for the title sponsorship fee?"
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "Alright then, I won't keep you all guessing. For the title sponsorship of The Voice, I have already negotiated with the Brain Gold company to purchase it at the amount of...100 million!"
When this figure rolled off Zhang Ye's tongue, everyone in the office was shocked into silence!
Even Chenchen busy playing games raised her head to look at him!
A title sponsorship fee of 100 million RMB?!
"This...is this for real?"
"How much? 100 million??"
Ha Qiqi almost fainted!
Zhang Zuo and all the other staff of The Voice were getting noisy from excitement. This happiness had arrived too suddenly and out of the blue! Everyone was taken by great surprise!