American Idol Contributes To CKX 3Q Slide

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — It was an ugly 3rd quarter at Robert Sillerman's CKX, where overall revenue dropped by 9.9% from the same period in 2008.

For the three months ended September 30, 2009, revenue declined to $87.4 million from $97.0 million for the comparable period in 2008. Operating income before depreciation, amortization and non-cash stock compensation declined to $16.4 million from $28.9 million in 2008. The 2009 results include an unfavorable swing of $3.9 million in non-cash foreign exchange gains as compared to 2008. Operating income in 2009 declined to $11.0 million from $22.7 million in 2008.

OIBDAN declined to $61.0 million in 2009 from $86.5 million in 2008. The 2009 results include $10.0 million of non-recurring revenue from terminated license agreements, an unfavorable swing in non-cash foreign exchange gains/losses of $9.9 million, as well as a $2.7 million increase in incremental and one-time costs. Adjusting for the non-recurring revenue, foreign exchange gains/losses and incremental and one-time costs, OIBDAN declined from $82.7 million to $59.8 million. Operating income declined to $45.8 million in 2009 from $68.0 million in 2008.

Among the losses at CKX were significant revenue declines at 19 Entertainment, who posted revenue declines of $7.7 million for the quarter. 19 Entertainment produces the variety shows "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance." According to CKX, "American Idol" saw decreases in revenue attributable to reduced foreign syndication and weaker on-air, off-air and tour sponsorship revenue resulting from the global recession.

Still, 19 Entertainment's Simon Fuller was upbeat: "I’m particularly pleased with the prospects for American Idol as well as our new initiatives going forward. Adding Ellen DeGeneres as a judge for American Idol is an impactful and important move that is already paying dividends. Our exclusive deal with Ryan Seacrest is another example of the far sighted thinking that we believe CKX represents. With Fashionair now taking hold and new online initiatives about to be unveiled, CKX is sitting at the forefront of an impactful growth period."

CKX's Muhammahad Ali and Elvis Presley businesses both saw one-time write downs of $1 million and $9 million respectively after the termination of associated real estate development licenses. Attendance at Graceland, Presley's former home, were up slightly but this wasn't enough to offset losses in licensing and royalties. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers