Dick Clark Productions Sold

Private equity firm RedZone Capital announced June 19th it had purchased Dick Clark Productions Inc., which includes an extensive collection of TV award shows and a library of live televised music, for $175 million.

While RedZone Capital aquired the bulk of the company, theme park operator Six Flags Inc., of which RedZone Capital is the single largest shareholder, took a 40 percent equity interest in the deal.

"Dick Clark Productions is responsible for some of the most enduring brands in entertainment," Daniel Snyder, managing member of RedZone Capital, said in a statement. "This was a rare opportunity to acquire a powerhouse portfolio and grow it in new directions."

RedZone Capital’s acquisition of Dick Clark Productions, which Dick Clark founded in 1957, includes "The American Music Awards," "The Golden Globes," "The Academy of Country Music Awards," "Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve" and "American Bandstand."

There are comedy specials, children’s programming, talk shows, and made-for-TV movies. And don’t forget "So You Think You Can Dance" and the bloopers shows.

Dick Clark Productions was taken private and purchased for $140 million in 2002 by a group of investors including the Canadian pension fund Capital Communications CDPQ and Mosaic Media Group.

Snyder, owner of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, is the chairman of the board of Six Flags and the new chairman of Dick Clark Productions. He also acquired the Johnny Rockets diner chain this spring and his investment group First & Goal put a nice chunk of change into Tom Cruise’s Cruise/Wagner Productions film company.

Creative Artists Agency will be in charge of developing new creative and business opportunities for the company in TV, licensing, live events, sponsorships and digital media.

Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro told the Los Angeles Times that there are plenty of cross-promotional opportunities for the theme park with the sale of Dick Clark Productions.

Even those who don’t favor roller coasters might be drawn to the theme park if concerts at Six Flags were rebranded to promote the "American Music Awards." Another idea would be to tie in Six Flags to "Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve."

"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,’" Shapiro said.

Tying in ’50s-retro diner Johnny Rockets with "American Bandstand" videos seems like a no-brainer, Snyder told the Times.

Combining Dick Clark Productions with new technology would introduce the company’s extensive library and "American Bandstand" shows to new and old fans alike if the music was digitized onto fans’ iPods, for instance.

The latest project Dick Clark Productions is involved with is an attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., that includes Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Hotel, fashioned after the Hard Rock Hotel, an enclosed theatre, a museum and a grill, according to the Mountain Press.

A concert series is in the works for next summer where fans will reportedly be able to see different acts every day in the approximately 4,000-seat theatre.