Citing the recent “exceptional success” of Mel Brook’s The Producers on Broadway, Clear Channel Communications (CCU) chairman and chief executive officer Lowry Mays says that CCU plans to “see the play open in London in the next year or two.”
Mays and fellow top executives at Austin-based Clear Channel held a conference call yesterday afternoon (April 26) to confer with analysts on the company’s financials for the first quarter of this year. During the call, Mays clarified certain aspects of Clear Channel’s strategy for its theatrical division (SFX Entertainment).
The immediate success of a Broadway show notwithstanding, CCU’s investment strategy in theatre is to secure the touring rights for the content of a given show, Lowry told analysts.
Mays cited another SFX show, Seussical as worthwhile family entertainment, and a show that he predicts will be a “great touring product for our business.”
“We’ll be touring Seussical for years to come,” Lowry said. SFX Entertainment was acquired by Clear Channel on Aug. 1, 2000. Clear Channel has also purchased radio broadcaster AMFM. The company now operates 1,140 radio and 18 television stations in the United States and has equity interests in over 240 radio stations internationally. Clear Channel also operates more than 750,000 outdoor advertising displays, including billboards, street furniture and transit panels across the world.
After an aggressive acquisitions campaign in sports and entertainment, SFX Entertainment established an early lead in marketing “live experiential” events. SFX develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets. An integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally, SFX has 122 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets.