“American Idol” producers signed Ryan Seacrest to a two-year, $30 million contract to continue hosting television’s most-watched show, said a person with knowledge of the terms who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
CKX Inc.’s 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America Inc., the show’s producers, announced the contract extension with Seacrest, 35, yesterday in an e-mailed statement, without providing details.
The contract ensures “Idol,” which airs on News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s Fox broadcast network, will continue being hosted by Seacrest, who has emceed the series since the singing competition began in June 2002. Seacrest also hosts a national radio program, appears on celebrity news programs on Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s E! cable channel and produces reality series including “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
“For the last 11 seasons, I’ve had the privilege to be a part of one of television’s most iconic shows,” Seacrest said in the statement. “It’s been a wild ride, and I’m excited for my journey with ‘American Idol’ to continue.”
Through April 22, “Idol’s” two weekly shows combined averaged a 6.1 rating among viewers ages 18-to-49, the group targeted by advertisers, and a total audience of 19.5 million, according to Fox. The show has declined 30 percent in the demographic compared with a year earlier and slid 23 percent in total viewers, the network said, citing Nielsen data.
News Corp., based in New York, fell less than 1 percent to $18.98 yesterday in New York trading (NWSA:US). The stock has gained 6.4 percent this year. New York-based CKX was acquired by Apollo Global Management Inc. (APO:US) in June 2011. Closely held Fremantle Ltd. is based in London.
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