THE ECONOMICS BEHIND BIG BROTHER NIGERIA
WRITTEN BY OLADELE ABIGAIL
The Big Brother Naija show; formerly known as Big Brother Nigeria is a competition in form of a reality show between contestants, known as housemates who live in an isolated house to compete for a cash prize and other material gifts at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house.
One key feature of economics is that it studies human behaviour. Alfred Marshall defined it as the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life. Even as a subject on its own, it tends to cut across every sector, subject, and the behaviour of individuals of which the big brother programme constitutes.
Although the big brother programme is seen as an entertainment; we can say there is an element of business which influences and connects with other sectors of the economy. Individuals, firms or companies and the government makes up the economy and as such, the big brother show has influenced these three entities.
For individuals, we can say that their purchasing power is influenced. During the programme, fans (individuals) vote with a part of their income to keep their favourite housemate back in the house. Economic theory states you either save or consume with your income. When individuals use a part of their income to vote, he or she has reduced his/her purchasing power. An individual who use about 60% of his income to get consumables will now use about 50% to get it while the 10% is now credited to voting.
If this is not the case, savings is affected, as a certain part of the amount set aside for savings is reduced. It is however so surprising how individuals are voting this much despite the impact caused by the pandemic, the rise in inflation rate and a host of others. While this has just proved that income is cycling around the economy, it also points out to the fact that individuals do not know the long term effect of their actions.
Individuals vote unconsciously without looking at its impact on their income. While most people see it as a pleasurable act, It is important for individuals, especially those who are saving towards specific goals to note this so as to trace out the leakages in his/her income system.
For Firms and business; we can say the telecommunication sector should see a rise in its income due to the voting process which involves sending of texts. Also, social media influencers have leveraged on this opportunity to boost their media share by posting contents from big brother as this is what their market is interested in. The government isn’t left out as not only is it receiving tax from the show itself but also VAT from SMS charges and the rest.
Individuals, firms and the Government are the three important entities in any economy. While firms and government are making profits out of it, individuals are losing out directly while they benefit indirectly through the income cycle. Income is circulating from one part of the economy and is moved to another sector and also circulating from one entity to another entity. For example, individuals send votes (income) to the telecommunication sector, even as they receive a higher income, the government benefit as the telecom companies have a higher taxable profit which translates to higher income for the country which should be used for the betterment of the people.
In as much as there are critics against the big brother show due to the indecent and immoral acts being portrayed, the programme has helped to attract foreign investors as housemates are given tasks which provides the platform for the housemates to them to retell the culture, and the country’s story to the outside world and could be used to attract citizens who are in diaspora back home.
WRITTEN BY OLADELE ABIGAIL
Oladele Abigail, an economics graduate of Bowen University who applies her passion for writing to her career path.
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