Remember the news back in December about show business mogul Robert Sillerman acquiring 85% of Elvis Presley Enterprises from Lisa Marie for $100 million. Well, Sillerman has been at it again. On March 18, he announced a $167 million deal to buy 19 Entertainment Ltd. This is the British-based firm that created the “Pop Idol” format in the United Kindom and more than 30 other countries, including the extremely successful “American Idol” on Fox TV, the number 1 show in prime time.
Wall Street was obviously impressed with the move to combine Elvis and American Idol under the same roof. The price of shares in Sillerman’s company, called Sports Entertainment Enterprises, jumped from $16.91 to $26.73 the day of the announcement. If you want to track how the House of Elvis and Idol is doing, the ticker symbol is CKXE (I wonder how they came up with that?).
Sillerman said he wants to develop entertainment content that is compelling but not necessarily dependent on the existing distribution model of TV networks and movie studios. Instead, he wants to move in the direction of entertainment delivered digitally through such mobile outlets as telephones and personal computers. Sounds like pretty soon we’ll be able to watch Elvis movies on our phones. Cool.
© 2005 Philip R Arnold