‘American Idol’ Numbers: Ad Revenue Over $800 Million; Simon’s Salary & More

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Here are some interesting numbers on American Idol from today’s LA Times piece “Even in decline, ‘American Idol’ can’t be bought for a song“:

  • > $800 million: Fox’s estimated ad revenue from American Idol
  • $1 – 1.5 million/hour: Hourly fee Fox pays American Idol’s producer for the first 37 episodes. More is paid for additional episodes. There were 19 hours beyond those 37 episodes last season.
  • $35.5 million: “contractual license fee” in addition to hourly fees paid by Fox.
  • $35 million: Simon Cowell’s annual salary from Idol.
  • 9%: average audience decline for American Idol between 2008-9 and 2009-10 season. (adults 18-49 rating decline was similar, but not noted in the article)
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