Six Flags and Red Zone acquire dick clark productions

Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:03 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Six Flags, Inc. announced today that it has acquired a 40% equity interest in dick clark productions, inc. RedZone Capital, a Virginia-based private equity fund managed by Six Flags directors Daniel M. Snyder and Dwight C. Schar, will acquire the majority 60% interest. Founded by television legend Dick Clark, dcpi is owner of the world's most unique and extensive library of live televised music and is a leading independent producer of television programming and special events, many of which continue to shape America's entertainment legacy.

Read the press release from PR Newswire via Yahoo.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:03 AM
Six Flags New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest. God help us. :)
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:50 AM
So it looks like it will be business as usual for the American Bandstand restaurants, which after closing 90% of their restuarants in corporate re-organization a few years ago, are slowly now starting to re-pop back up and I hope that still continues!

I wonder if any SF parks would open one now? Their Chattanooga Almond-crusted chicken fingers and Jack Daniels-battered catfish cannot be beat!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:57 AM
I have been to both the AB in Columbus and cincy. They were awesome! Would love to see more of them.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:58 AM
Thanks for mentioning Chattanooga, tig. Another point of history was that Chattanooga was the first Coke bottling operation back when Coke was introduced to the public back in the late 1800's.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:27 AM
Does this mean Barry Manilow will now sing the Six Flags commercials?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 12:00 PM
Well, right now a lot of the AB restaurants are in airports (but there are a couple other free-standing ones in NJ and Kansas City). But airport ones are usually *past* security in their concourse, and while I can sometimes catch them when flying somewhere, a lot of times I have to either bribe someone at the restaurant to bring me down a to-go order at the concourse exit for like a $20 tip....

OR I'll actually buy an airline ticket to anywhere, eat down there with my fiance, and then refund the ticket which you can usually do for a full refund if it's within 24 hours..."My travel plans have changed" ;)*** This post was edited by tigellinus 6/19/2007 12:05:55 PM ***

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 12:40 PM
I don't see how this is going to help the parks much at all. Are they going to have five million commercials during the awards shows now, and that's the reason why they got it?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 2:51 PM
It helps SF with the overall money coming in, so they are not strictly dependent on the parks. I heard the Shapiro wanted to diversify Six Flags beyond being a strictly a theme park operator and this appears to be the first big step in that direction. Park wise, they can now have their own brand they can exploit in their parks - like American Bandstand and other DCPI properties. A Rockin New Years Eve party event isn't out of the question actually.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 5:15 PM
How many times during Dick Clark's Rockin New Years Eve Party do they cut to New Years at Disney? MANY! Now they can cut to New Years at one/some of the SF parks.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 5:41 PM
Jeff, they'll probably announce cutbacks and have to stop the New Years Eve shows at 11:58.

Flyingscooter, of course not. Six Flags just got rid of one creepy old guy as spokesperson.

My favorite paragraph in the article:

"American Bandstand,"® the groundbreaking legendary television show
which still represents the music industry's gold standard for
introducing and launching generations of artists into mainstream
consumer awareness..." I'm just picturing all those kids singing doo-wop on street corners and playing in garage bands dreaming of the day they'll appear on Bandstand and achieve "mainstream consumer awareness."

Well, at least you know where part of your $15 parking fee went. Rent more Q-bots: Dick Clark wants to put an addition onto one of his mansions. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 7:22 PM
American Bandstand went off the air back in the early 90's if then. How in the heck can they represent the gold standard when they haven't been on Tv since then, let alone played back the old shows.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:55 PM
I may have mentioned this before, but I used to work in radio (Indirectly) for Dick Clark. He was the financial backer and parner for a startup company called The United Stations. I had the chance to meet him a few times, but we, as techies were told by our bosses not to talk to him.

The radio shows (Such as Rock, Roll and Remember) and his syndicated television shows were poorly made and driven by the sales staff. He was notorius for making money using other people's work. An example of this was his series of bloopers shows. He had nothing to do with the program, but he made a fortune based on outtakes that other people had given him or sold to him.

People tuned into bandstand to see the acts who played for free (For Exposure), not to see Dick Clark.

He was the consumate salesman. He was able to have a "look" (At the time) that young people wouldn't find offensive and who aslo appealed to their parents.

In our company, if you weren't in sales, you were expendable and paid non union wages in the New York Broadcasting commuinity. He got around this by keeping his production guys in small seperate sudios where they were threatend with being fired if they tried to unionize.

People who sold the shows and spots were given huge bonuses, perks and the like.

I am sure that Dick isn't in the kitchen flinging the burgers in the bandstand restaurants.

He just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I hate to hear that is earning even more money.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 12:17 AM
Dick Clark the man may have been an institution, sure, but most of the things his company put out were carefully crafted products of little value. The New Year's Eve show has been terrible and mostly pre-recorded for years.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 12:29 AM
You guys need an imagination,. THis is a big step in the right direction. some ideas as to what this means. You know how disney has the christmas parade? Now six flags can have a west coast feed of the New Years eve show in Magic Mountain .So during that whole show they can show whats going on in the west coast.A really cool american bandstand themed restaurant. Meaning a disney caliber themed restaurant at six flags. Now you can dance or american band stand type shows for the parks. Access to the production facilities at dick clark productions. THis means Six Flags can create its own shows ,cartoons,and movies just like disney. Also combine this with the fact that the people who created miramax sit on the six flags board and this could be huge.
*** This post was edited by majortom1981 6/20/2007 12:29:56 AM ***
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 12:48 AM
CNBC Shapiro Interview Video

God, is he good or what? :)

I think I like him so much because we apparently share a brain - he's saying things I've saying for a while now. I need to seriously consider some SIX.

"Daycation" - Friggin' genius! While other companies blame the gas prices, Shapiro lays it on the line. It doesn't matter. If anything, it helps.

Good stuff in the interview. :)

And on a completely unrelated note:

Richie Reflux said:
...but he made a fortune based on outtakes that other people had given him or sold to him.

Kind of like YouTube!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 8:32 AM
The reason the Rockin' Eve show cuts to Disneyworld sometimes is because this show is on ABC which is owned by Disney. So those of you saying they could have a live feed out of Magic Mountain need to rethink that. Not that it couldn't happen but you're talking about a live feed out of a park that is a direct competitor to another Disney Park. Would ABC even allow that?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 9:49 AM
Chances are they will have to if they want Dick Clark Productions to run their Rock N Eve show since Six Flags owns the majority of that company. IF not then Disney can do it themselves.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 10:40 AM
Those contracts I'm sure are for many years and aren't going to change. Besides, where are they going to go, CBS? NBC has Universal and Fox is too hip for Dick (or so it thinks).
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 11:30 AM
I think Motley Fool speaks the best of the opportunities that this purchase makes possible. (below) If SF indeed is to move more toward entertainment this indeed is a big step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, you're asking the wrong questions. This deal is about the amazing portfolio that "America's Oldest Teenager" has amassed over the years at DCPI. It fits much better into the new family-friendly Six Flags mosaic than you may initially think.

There are some pretty amazing opportunities here, once you line them all up. The Six Flags press release did a pretty good job of highlighting some of the possibilities. They are:

  • So You Think You Can Dance special events to drive attendance at Six Flags.
  • Awards-show ticket sweepstakes and promotions to spur Six Flags season-pass sales at all 20 of its parks.
  • A lottery for backstage passes to the American Music Awards.
  • Exclusive theme-park use of the DCPI libraries, including American Bandstand and Bloopers episodes and past award shows for in-park use and marketing.
  • A rebranding of the company's Thursday Night Summer Concert Series as the American Music Awards Concert Series in 2008.
  • American Bandstand concerts at Six Flags.
  • Access to DCPI's production resources, to open up the possibility of original content development.
  • So you think you can plan ...
    The Six Flags suggestions barely scratch the surface, though. There is so much more that can be done once you line up the modest $40 million investment for that 40% stake in DCPI and what can be done at the park level. And I'm not just talking about free-fall rides modeled after the ball drop in Times Square.

    Here are some of the more tantalizing possibilities I can think of.

  • So You Think You Can Dance should be more than just a special event. The summertime hit on News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS) Fox TV network should be a show performed a few times daily at each park. Imagine plucking unlikely dancers from the audience during the pre-show and teaching them some dance moves backstage. Meanwhile, Six Flags dancers and audience members who wanted to strut their stuff would get a chance on stage before the freshly trained dancers came out for the finale.
  • It would be heresy to move New Year's Rockin' Eve out of Times Square, but the West Coast feeds should come from Magic Mountain. It would vindicate the move to keep the year-round California park, as well as draw top recording stars who are often reluctant to go on the amusement park-gigging circuit. If Disney (NYSE: DIS) uses its Christmas morning parade show as a promotional front for its theme parks, why shouldn't Six Flags get in on the fun?
  • Dick Clark owns a fledgling chain of American Bandstand-themed diners. It may hit too close to home, with Johnny Rockets locations already in six parks (and counting), but now is the time to dream big, take a page out of the Sci-Fi Drive-In at Disney-MGM Studios park in Florida, and create an immersive Dick Clark-themed restaurant, where tables resemble cars and where clips of 1950s dance shows -- instead of Disney's B-movie trailers -- are projected on the big screen.
  • Bloopers: The Stunt Show. Creating -- and in some cases rebranding -- stunt shows that feature humorous staged pratfalls, with classic blooper reels screened between the antics, would be a crowd-pleasing winner.
  • The American Music Awards show could get a grassroots makeover at the theme-park level. Just slap on the local city at the end of the AMA brand, and create either a battle of the bands -- or vocalists, to keep it simple -- and make it a sticky series for the summertime. Selling compilation CDs -- either physically or through digital-distribution outlets such as Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iTunes -- of the top performers would be a great way to rally the local community and generate some good local media buzz.
  • Parks that include Western themes could incorporate saloons based on the Academy of Country Music Awards show, complete with sarsaparilla -- or heartier libations -- on tap as music videos play.
  • Unfortunately, many of the popular award shows in the DCPI portfolio do not air during the parks' operating seasons. However, kiosks could still be set up to tabulate nominations or actual votes for a Six Flags People's Choice category.
  • On the viral marketing front, classic DCPI clips could be prepackaged with Six Flags marketing and syndicated through all of the popular video-streaming outlets. The library is deep, and it's still highly untapped in cyberspace.
  • Taking a bandstand stand
    I knew Six Flags would eventually make a media-content acquisition. I saw it in CEO Mark Shapiro's eyes last year, when I spent a day with him at Six Flags Great Adventure last season. The former ESPN programming guru noted that Six Flags could be more than just an amusement-park operator in a few years. And now it's beginning to happen. The DCPI move is brilliant.


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