The junior colleges whose cheerleading teams were profiled in Netflix's "Cheer" were compensated with just $30,000 for their role in the hit show, according to a new report.
The two-year, Dallas-area schools, Navarro College and rival Trinity Valley Community College, were both paid the same amount for each of the show's two seasons, Sportico reported.
The show's runaway success has turned some of its stars into social media influencers with large fanbases and paid endorsements.
Navarro head coach Monica Aldama competed on "Dancing With the Stars" and recently published a book, while former Navarro cheerleader and Season 1 breakout star Jerry Harris had deals with Walmart, Cheerios and Starburst prior to his arrest in 2020 on charges of child pornography and sexual exploitation of children.
Others boast sizable social media followings and have made media appearances. But the benefits for the schools themselves are less clear.
A Navarro official told Sportico that the school's stake in the show is a common misconception:
“Everybody thinks we made a million dollars off of the show, and as you can see from the contract, we did not,” said Stacie Sipes, Navarro’s director of marketing and public information, who makes a brief appearance in the new season. (TVCC likewise received a $30,000 location fee.)
Perhaps more surprisingly, Sipes said the school hasn't seen an upsurge in enrollment from the show's popularity.
Elsewhere in the agreement, the production company behind the show is allowed options for five years after the first season, at the same location fee. Season 2 was released on Jan. 12.
As well, Navarro later reached a merchandise agreement with Netflix that entitles the school to 50% of revenues from consumer goods, the report said.
"Cheer" follows roughly the same reality TV/documentary structure as Netflix's "Last Chance U" series, which profiles community college sports programs, mostly football.
Last year saw the release of a basketball version of "Last Chance U," the subject of which, East Los Angeles Community College, was paid $56,000 for 14 days of shooting per Sportico.
Earlier this month, Netflix announced hikes of $1-2 for all of its monthly subscription packages.