Is the MU franchise fee is too expensive to pay for any pageant powerhouse country? How much does pageant franchise holders have to pay every year to the Miss Universe organization?
It is said that the Miss Universe pageant franchise varies from country to country. Smaller countries who have little competition in their hometown for a rival pageant could pay around US$ 10,000 for the annual fee. And if a country wins the MU title, they are exempt from paying the franchise fee the subsequent year.
In the Philippines, BPCI through its Chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta has a stable cash cow with the annual Binibining Pilipinas pageant thus is able to pay off the annual franchise payments. The BPCI stalwart has been able to manage 50 years of holding the franchise with her ability to manage the funds of the pageant. Pageant insiders has it that by the late 2000’s, the Philippines pays around US$ 40,000 annually. Rumored updated figures have it now between US$ 50,000- 60,000.
During Mariangel Ruiz’ time the Venezuelan franchise was only around US$ 70,000.00 to 80,000. And she too had the misfortune of almost not being able to be sent to MU, until other countries stepped in to pay the lacking amount. But that was in 2003, recent reports say that the Venezuelan franchise fee may currently be around US$ 100,000. However, some pageant insiders estimates that it could be more and we may be looking at a figure between US$ 110,000- 120,000.
Those amounts seem to be too exorbitant compared to the annual US$ 10,000 franchise fees for Miss World. But that comes with a catch, each national organization has to select a national winner in a separate beauty pageant. And we know how extremely difficult it is to set up two national pageants for MW and MU. Just ask Osmel Sousa when he headed the Miss Venezuela oraganization. It is clear how the Miss World Venezuela pageant is less spectacular than the main Miss Venezuela pageant itself. Even the candidates of the MW-Venezuela are somewhat ‘recycled’ from previous MW editions. That is altogether a different expense that could impound to a struggling national pageant. Nowadays with three different national directors heading the pageant, the MW-Venezuela is selected from the pool of the MV pageant and is scheduled ahead.
Although the exact figures are unconfirmed, we are looking at huge amounts of money being spent annually. After all, the franchise fees are one of the sources of revenue for the Miss Universe organization. Rumor has it that the MUOrg’s parent company IMG Endeavour has since asked the pageant to be self-sustainable/ self-sufficient financially. Hence, we will be seeing increases in fees in the coming years and possibly even more national franchise turnovers…
NOTE: this post was originally published in July 2017 and is updated for relevancy and accuracy.