SBD/Issue 25/Sports Industrialists

USA Today Profiles Entertainment Magnate Robert Sillerman

USA Today Examines
Sillerman's Business
CKX, the company owned by ROBERT F.X. SILLERMAN that has bought the rights to a number of entertainers and athletes, is profiled by David Lieberman in a USA TODAY Money section Cover Story. CKX owns 80% of the entity that controls the rights to MUHAMMAD ALI, as well as 100% of 19 Entertainment, which produces and licenses Fox’ “American Idol.” This year, 19 Entertainment is adding deals with Kellogg’s, Dreyer’s Ice Cream and McDonald’s “to run ads with ‘Idol’ tie-ins that could drive viewers to the show.” Sillerman: “It’s like the Bud Bowl. Budweiser advertised outside the Super Bowl, and that created interest to watch the Super Bowl. That has never happened in (non-sports) television. But because we treated ‘Idol’ as a sports property, that’s just what happened this year.” Sillerman in the late ’90s bought up local live entertainment promoters and venues to create SFX Entertainment, which he sold to Clear Channel for $4.4B in ’00. NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN, a friend of Sillerman’s, said, “He can get just as excited as a kid by a fun idea” (USA TODAY, 10/17).

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