Ryan Seacrest is Fox's $45 Million Man.
The American Idol host has closed a major new three-year deal with CKX, parent of Idol producer 19 Entertainment, worth $15 million per year.
Under the pact, which is believed to be the richest ever for a reality host, Seacrest will be exclusive to CKX in broadcast TV prime time to host Idol or any CKX-produced show that might succeed it.
The pact, which had been in the works for the past several weeks, gives Seacrest a gigantic pay raise, more than tripling his previous salary of slightly less than $5 million per season.
Idol producers 19, FremantleMedia North America and Fox all declined to comment on Seacrest's new deal, as did his attorneys at Hansen Jacobson. The pact is expected to be announced Monday.
The three-year deal gives CKX exclusivity on Seacrest’s on-camera services for broadcast TV. Seacrest has a separate cable deal with Comcast and is E! Entertainment’s lead anchor. He also produces such shows as E!'s Keeping Up with the Kardashians and ABC's upcoming Jamie Oliver reality series.
With Seacrest’s renegotiation out of the way, the Idol producers will focus on securing the show’s judges for next season.
Über judge Simon Cowell has made statements that he might leave the singing competition when his contract is up at the end of next season. The British media has pegged his salary demands for staying on the show at more than $100 million per year.
The other judges—Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi—all have said they hope to close deals to return next season.
While the ratings for the reality juggernaut have slipped in the past couple of years, Idol remains the highest-rated series on television by a mile and is a windfall for its producers.
Nielsen Business Media