American Idol made $63 million for 19 Entertainment in 2007, up from $47 million in 2006

The American Idol franchise made $63,212,000 for its parent company 19 Entertainment last year, up from $47,211,000 in 2006, according to an SEC filing made by 19’s parent company, CKX.

The show actually earned $83,859,000 in 2007, but had expenses of $20,647,000. In 2006, though, the total revenue was $67,710,000, with expenses of $20,499,000 for a total of $47,211,000. (These numbers don’t count revenues the show brings in for other companies, such as Fox.)

From the Idol contestants who have become recording artists under 19 Entertainment’s control, the company made $27,056,000 in 2007 and $18,231,000 in 2006.

Together, the other Idol franchises made just a fraction of that for 19 Entertainment, $15,452,000 in 2007, while 19 Entertainment’s other reality shows (such as So You Think You Can Dance and The Next Great American Band) made $54,154,000, but had expenses of $45,352,000, so profit was just $8,802,000.

In total, 19 Entertainment made “$193.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, an increase of $41.7 million, or 28%, over the prior period,” according to the filing.

The filing also reveals other interesting things about 19 Entertainment, including that renewal of the show with Fox is dependent upon ratings, and that contestants’ contracts may require contestants to release a certain number of records:

A portion of our revenue from the American Idol series is dependent upon the number of hours of programming we deliver. … Under the terms of the agreements, Fox has guaranteed at least two more seasons of American Idol (2008-2009), with an automatic renewal for up to two additional seasons upon the show achieving certain minimum ratings in 2009 and potentially 2010. Additional terms of the agreements call for Fox to order a minimum of 37 hours and a maximum of 45 hours of American Idol programming each season (though 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia can agree to produce additional hours) and to pay 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia an increased license fee per season. Fox also agreed to make an annual payment to 19 Entertainment tied to the most recent recording agreement with Sony BMG.

The majority of our revenue is derived from production and license fees and related performance bonuses from producing and licensing the IDOLS television show format in various countries and ancillary revenue streams from the IDOLS brand. Ancillary revenue from the IDOLS brand is generated through agreements which provide us with the option to sign finalists on the IDOLS television shows to long-term recording contracts, concert tours we produce featuring IDOLS finalists and the sale of sponsorships and merchandise involving the IDOLS brand.

Our recording artists are generally signed to long-term recording contracts under which we and Sony BMG have the right, but not the obligation, to require the artist to release a specified number of albums.

Form 10-K: CKX, INC.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.