Compared to the peanuts most reality TV stars in Australia are paid for their 15 minutes of fame, former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce's reported $150,000 is quite a tidy sum.

The Weekend Australian revealed Seven's deal with Joyce and his partner Vikki Campion on Saturday. The six-figure pay packet is hefty compared to the usual $11,900 it costs to produce an hour of news and current affairs programming, and doesn't even include the usual production costs that will still apply to the program. But if the episode of Sunday Night produces anywhere near the amount of drama the Joyce-Campion story has so far, it could be worth more to the network than the average $645,700 it costs to produce an hour of narrative TV drama in Australia.