Idol Dimming For CKX?

Robert F.X. Sillerman’s CKX Inc. has taken a turn for the worse, posting a 50 percent plunge to $11 million in operating income during the third quarter compared with the previous year’s period

Revenues for the quarter were also down at $87.4 million during the period, compared with $97 million during Q3 2008, CKX said, stemming from declining sponsorship dollars for “American Idol” tours and reduced music and management revenues.

Sillerman attributed the company’s declines to “reductions in advertising and promotion spending arising from the global recession” and an increase in “development spending” during the quarter.

“We remain optimistic about our prospects for the fourth quarter of 2009 and 2010, which will benefit from the opening of the Elvis-themed Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, the additional cycle of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ currently airing on Fox, additional broadcast hours of ‘American Idol’ in 2010 and the improving economic climate,” he said in a statement.

“Our confidence is reflected in our decision to continue our increased investment in exciting new projects, several of which are poised to be introduced in the coming months. All of this points to an exciting future for CKX.”

CKX’s 19 Entertainment, which owns the worldwide “Idol” franchise, also reported declining revenues for Q3, from $78.8 million in 2008 to $71.4 million in 2009. However, 19 Entertainment CEO Simon Fuller seemed optimistic that the company is poised for growth.

“Adding Ellen DeGeneres as a judge for ‘American Idol’ is an impactful and important move that is already paying dividends,” Fuller said. “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.”