‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ Now Brought To You By China

By November 7, 2016
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Dick Clark may have rocked his last New Year’s Eve welcoming in 2012, but his media empire keeps getting bigger.

So big, in fact, that it’s now owned by a Chinese real estate and entertainment company who, according to Variety, ponied up $1 billion for the unscripted television production house.

Wanda Group is poised to take over the world of entertainment, it seems. Dick Clark Productions is a company the late television and radio host founded in 1957, and owns the rights to a number of broadcasts millions of people watch each year. They include the American Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards, as well as So You Think You Can Dance and Miss America.

The company also still owns ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which is now hosted by Ryan Seacrest, as well as the rights to broadcast the Golden Globes Awards.

amc110716Once the deal is complete, Wanda will put the Dick Clark trophy on its shelf with other acquisitions in recent years, including AMC Theatres and Legendary Entertainment. Legendary, of course, is the company behind recent films like Warcraft and Jurassic World. AMC has 346 locations in North America, and another 86 in China.

Wanda Group, which also is known as Dalian Wanda, was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Beijing. It started in residential real estate, but started to expand beginning in 2005, making huge in-roads into the United States when it bought up AMC for $2.6 billion in 2012.

Wanda was one of the suitors looking to buy a huge stake in Paramount Pictures when Viacom had been offering to sell of a minority stake in the company. However, that deal fell through when Viacom underwent a very public change in power, forcing Wanda to take a minority stake in Sony Pictures Entertainment instead.

The company has plenty of money to spare. In 2014, Wanda reported revenue of just under $40 billion. That was after picking up a net profit the year before of more than $2 billion.

goldenglobes110716Even if Clark were still alive today, he wouldn’t have profited from the sale. That’s because he sold Dick Clark Productions to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder in 2007 for $175 million.

Snyder sold the company in 2012 for $350 million to a partnership led by Guggenheim Partners and Mandalay Entertainment, which also owned major properties like the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Guggenehim spun off Dick Clark Productions late last year, which made it ripe for acquisition by Wanda.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.