Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Private equity buys up Dick Clark

Dick Clark Productions, which owns rights to American Bandstand, the American Music Awards and a massive catalogue of live performances has been snapped up by a partnership between Redzone, the PE fund controlled by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, and Six Flags, the amusement park operator. (Six Flags, in its turn, is owned largely by Redzone.)

The talk is of synergy and digitisation:

"This is the next step in the evolution of Six Flags — moving into the family entertainment space," said Shapiro, a former programming executive at ESPN and ABC.

Cross-promotional opportunities are plentiful, he said. Six Flags' concerts could be re-branded to promote the American Music Awards, for example, and during the New Year's countdown show, "I can see Dick or Ryan saying, 'Let's check in on Los Angeles at Magic Mountain, where such-and-such band is performing live.' "

Clark will continue to co-host the New Year's Eve show with Ryan Seacrest, Shapiro said.

Having seen Dick struggling somewhat on the last New Year's Eve programme, we suspect that wasn't considered the deal breaker.