Conservatively valued at $2.5 billion as a franchise, the “American Idol” empire already brings in $500 million a year in TV ad dollars, including a number of $30 million to $50 million core sponsorship packages, music sales, live tours — read: more sponsorship revenue as well as ticket sales — and an explosion of products from 40 licensees.
Entire program online
But that’s just the beginning. Despite the TV show being crammed with ads from 137 marketers in the past two years — along with three core partners integrated into the content — Fremantle Media, the rights holder to “Idol,” is making room for new ad opportunities by streaming the entire program at AmericanIdol.com after it airs. Already signed on to support the website are marketers including McDonald’s and MasterCard.