19 Entertainment Fields Idol Offers

Sony BMG and Universal Music Group are reportedly battling for the rights to release upcoming albums from the “American Idol” television series now that the previous agreement has expired between Sony BMG and “Idol” creator Simon Fuller.

Fuller’s management company, 19 Entertainment, is fielding offers to release upcoming albums, singles and DVDs from the show, according to the U.K.’s Times newspaper. Fuller is apparently involved in the negotiations despite recently selling his company to Robert Sillerman’s CKX.

A spokesman for 19 Entertainment said “American Idol” generates more than $40 million in retail each year, including platinum albums by winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia, and runner-up Clay Aiken.

The third and fourth major record companies – EMI Music and Warner Music Group – are supposedly not in the running.