China's Dalian Wanda Group buying Dick Clark Productions for $1B

Dick Clark Productions' "So You Think You Can Dance" airs on Fox and is one of the company's high-profile productions. Screenshot: DCP

Chinese company Dalian Wanda today announced it plans to acquire Dick Clark Productions for $1 billion, which Wanda says marks its entry into the U.S. television industry.

Owning DCP will give Wanda access to 20 high-profile TV events rights, including the Golden Globe Awards, the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the New Year's countdown celebrations in New York.

“The acquisition of DCP marks Wanda’s first step into television content, occupying the highest-end global TV program resources from the start,” said the company in a statement. “Obtaining top television production rights brings about complementary and coordinated development for Wanda’s current focuses on the film, tourism, and sports industries.”

DCP’s primary revenue sources are the above mentioned TV events and the company has long-term agreements with all major U.S. broadcasters. Wanda is anticipating that as broadcast rights fees for “art and sports” programs increase in the U.S., DCP’s revenue will continue to increase.

Wanda intends to keep DCP’s management team fully intact following the close of the acquisition.

Of course, the deal is likely to face a good amount of scrutiny by U.S. regulators. As reports have pointed out, the Justice Department has been urged to look closely as Wanda’s recent deals -- which include a multi-picture alliance with Sony as well as multi-billion dollar purchases of Legendary Entertainment and AMC Theaters. There is fear that Wanda could be expanding its position in order to help dictate how China is portrayed in entertainment.

But according to the New York Times, Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin said his company’s motivation is to help U.S. media companies improve market share in China.

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