6 times 'no-show insurance' takes a star role

When news gets in the way
When news gets in the way © Rodolfo Arpia/

The risks associated with televising the Academy Awards largely involved bleeping out exuberant profanity until hours before the 53rd Academy Awards ceremony was set to go live on March 30, 1981.

"The Oscars were actually postponed 24 hours because they were scheduled the night that President Ronald Reagan was shot," says Moore of DeWitt Stern. "From that day on, they bought insurance for their event. The interesting thing is, the show could have gone on but it would have been pre-empted by the network."

Since then, pre-emption coverage has become a common option in entertainment no-show insurance -- and not surprisingly, considering the advertising and pay-per-view revenue that is at stake should network news interrupt a regularly scheduled live broadcast.

As for non-appearance insurance in general, Moore estimates that it could represent 5 percent to 10 percent, or roughly $150,000 to $300,000, of a $3 million insurance package for a televised prizefight -- or 1 percent, or $250,000, of a $25 million concert coverage package. But the pricing is not an exact science.

"It's not like life insurance, where you can look up the 'book' rate," he says. "It's called seat-of-your-pants underwriting."


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