Monday, February 06, 2017

Oak Island's Real Pot of Gold

Let’s take a little journey behind the scenes of The Curse of Oak Island and by behind the scenes, I merely mean what is in the public record about the production. This will give us a little look into how much money is being spent and who seems to be profiting by it. There is nothing nefarious here, just television production and cities and provinces making some money on the deals associated with the Money Pit.

It seems that the “Edward Peill” Group, which includes Tell Tale Entertainment Inc., Lunenburg Films Inc., Tell Tale International Inc., Horse Sense Films Inc., and Body Language Films Inc., all of which list Edward Peill as the sole officer and director has its hand, or his hand, in much of the Oak Island program. The total amount of funding given to these companies has been $1,823,865 (Canadian dollars), which amounts to 10.73% of the monies committed through the NSFPIF which is The Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund. You can look at their website here:

To dive a little deeper into this we learn Oak Island is a service production which means an American company has a local, meaning Nova Scotia production company, to run the production for them. This is Tell Tale Productions. According to NSBI, the Crown Corporation in Nova Scotia that administers the Film Fund for the provincial government, season 4 of The Curse of Oak Island received a commitment of $1,271,546 in government funding from the NSFPIF in August 2016. That represents approximately 30% of the Nova Scotia costs, which means around 4 - 4.5 million is being spent on the series in NS alone, which wouldn’t include the costs being incurred elsewhere. You can read the press release about this here:

This gives you an idea on the amount of money being spent and who is reaping some of the rewards of that. The Laginas do mention partners in this adventure which only means they’re not spending just their own money. This also shows that if there is “gold” or “treasure” on Oak Island, it just isn’t buried in the ground. It’s flowing into Nova Scotia to produce the show and probably into the pockets of those who appear on it as “cast” members. I do know, or rather have read that Rick Lagina is a retired postal worker with an estimated net worth of something like half a million dollars. His brother Marty has an estimated 2.2 million which is nowhere near the amount of money being spent here. I have been unable to find any information on what they are being paid for this show but other reality TV shows pay those appearing on camera a bunch of money.
Oak Island then is a story that they’ll continue to draw out. I did look at the number of viewers and it has held steady from the beginning, just under 3 million viewers. It has topped 3 million a time or two this season (4) so it seems that the treasure won’t be found this year because that would kill the golden goose. No, they’ll tease that they are making major discoveries which won’t be all that major, but it’ll keep us all on the hook. It’s the ad revenue that keeps the machinery of this production greased and until that runs out, we’ll keep getting the great revelations of a stone that might have a Templar Cross on it, bits of wood that bear evidence of human manipulation, and pictures that almost show us something of interest. When that stream of cash dries up, they’ll abandon the search and I predict that all they will have done is dig up more of the island without finding the mother lode.


purrlgurrl said...

I can't believe you're still watching this. After the first few episodes, it was pretty obvious treasure was never going to be found (after all it is, that's the end of the series and some sweet gigs for all involved).

albert said...


'Real' treasure hunting is done in secret, takes a long time, and most often finds nothing.

It's infotainment.

Drew Carey said it best, after he got his first series: "Crazy money". Remember when Seinfeld and (Tim) Allen were making 1M USD, per episode? And that was 1998-9.

I don't know what TV 'stars' salaries are now.

. .. . .. --- ....

KRandle said...

purrlgurrl =

I thing it is wrong to call Oak Island "infortainment" because while it might be entertainment, there is little info in it... the constant harping on the who might haver buried treasure there has long passed the info stage...

And, I don't think anyone on the show is making a million an episode, but I wouldn't be surprised if some are make 50, 60 thousand an episode but I could find no real numbers.

And I don't think you should chide me for watching because lately, mostly, I have slept through some of these episodes.

purrlgurrl said...

I didn't call it infotainment. Albert did. I call it a waste of time. But apparently for you it works well as a soporific.

KRandle said...

purrllgurrl -

You are correct, of course. That was albert... but the point remains, there is no info in it.