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Game Compliance

by | Oct 9, 2020


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Game Compliance
In an effort to support our producers and to help ensure successful production of programs containing a game or competition element, we have entered into a preferred vendor relationship with Sullivan Compliance Company, a division of Enteractive Solutions Group, located in Burbank, CA. What this means for you is that your programs will be better guarded against any potential game compliance issues for a much better price then you would find in an individual market.

Discovery recognizes how critical it is to the integrity of our programming that if there is a game or competition component that involves contestants then it is a Federal Communications Committee (FCC) regulation that dictates that the game has to be played fairly, according to its rules and in a manner described to the public. Thus, we have attached the following milestones to our “game and/or reality competition shows” and as such have approached Sullivan to assist you in providing the following applicable elements.

Some of the services Sullivan provides:

      • Bible – (includes precise rules, show running bible and contestant releases) – Your bible should provide precise rules of how the game is to be played; contestant releases (specifying eligibility, selection process and liability), security, production procedures and prizes. You should refer to your agreement with Sullivan for more specific details. Basically, it is the “soup to nuts” on how a show is created and games are played.
      • Agreement with Sullivan – This will outline specifically the levels of service to be provided by Sullivan.
      • On-site/In-studio coverage person – An independent “judge type person” who is a qualified and unbiased game compliance person. This person provides a certain level of daily insurance that the producer is abiding by the rules of the game and contestants are being treated fairly.
      • Copies of all staff/crew compliance agreements – Sullivan will help you create the correct agreements. The producer will then have to make sure the agreements are signed by all program personnel and crew and talent warranting that they understand and will follow FCC dictates and policies regarding game competition for the program to maintain its records.

Some of the areas the Producer will need to provide:

      • Proof of workers compensation for all contestants – To ensure that all contestants have workers compensation coverage. If not otherwise covered, then they may need to be paid a small stipend through a payroll service.
      • Producer Summary – The producer will provide a summary of each day of shooting. This is much like the security report but will be from the producer’s point of view.


How do you begin?
Once the network has given you the green light for this type of program, you will then need to complete the Sullivan Application (attached above). You should forward that to Alex Hendrie at Sullivan and copy your Production Manager.

Alex Hendrie
Executive VP, Game and Reality Compliance
Sullivan Compliance Company
Phone (818) 526-0600

You should then follow up with Alex, at Sullivan, to discuss your needs for the production as well as the level of service they will need to provide. Alex will create a contract and forward that to you for signature and review. Once that is completed, forward a copy to your PM as part of your milestone materials.

While this is going on, please make sure you’re budgeting according to our preferred rates with Sullivan (see attached rate card). At any point during this process, if you have any questions contact your Production Manager at Discovery.

What do I budget for besides the Sullivan costs?
Your budgeting process will need to cover but should not be limited to the following areas:

      • Verify if you need background checks on the contestants, so you don’t get any contestants that could jeopardize the show.
      • You will need to ensure that the contestants have workers compensation coverage. If not, they may be paid a small stipend through an outside payroll service like Media Services so that workers comp is available.
      • If you decide to hire Sullivan to be on the set, then the Sullivan employee will have his or her own workers compensation as well as indemnities.
      • DCL and producer will be named as additionally insured on Sullivan’s corporate E&O- The producer should obtain a copy of the certificate to be included in final deliverables.
      • You will need to make sure that there is an EMT/Safety Consultant who is familiar with all OSHA safety laws. This person will need to be in the budget for the length of the shoot.
      • You will need to make sure you have budgeted for travel, hotel and per diem for the on-site/in-studio coverage person.
      • If children are involved, or games involve certain levels of risk, the insurance premiums will be substantially higher. MIB may not be able to insure these shows thus making the producer responsible for taking outside bids.

Can I use another Compliance Company?
Yes, but please discuss with your Production Manager ahead of time.