Breaking news: CKX and Cirque du Soleil to Develop Elvis Presley Shows and ''Experiences'' Worldwide - The Elvis World Tour Kicks Off in 2008: CKX, Inc., through its subsidiary Elvis Presley Enterprises, has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Cirque du Soleil for the creation, development, production and promotion of Elvis Presley Projects, featuring touring and permanent shows, as well as multimedia interactive "Elvis Experiences," throughout the world.
Elvis Presley Projects, expected to debut beginning in 2008, will consist of:
Touring shows that will be produced by Cirque du Soleil and incorporate the name, image, likeness and music of Elvis Presley.
Permanent shows at fixed locations that will be produced by Cirque du Soleil and incorporate the name, image, likeness and music of Elvis Presley.
Multimedia interactive entertainment "Elvis Experiences" that incorporate the music, memorabilia, audiovisual works, and the life and times of Elvis Presley.
Robert F.X. Sillerman, Chairman and CEO of CKX, Inc., commented, "This arrangement will allow fans around the globe, who have only seen Elvis Presley in movies or listened to his music, to truly experience what it was like to see Elvis perform. Cirque du Soleil remains one of the most stunning and exciting entertainment experiences on the planet and brings the creative genius needed to produce shows and multimedia events that will capture the true Elvis Presley."
Guy Laliberte, Founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, commented, "This new arrangement, with such incredible new partners as Robert F.X. Sillerman and his team, promises to be a most exciting and stimulating creative project for Cirque du Soleil. It also clearly demonstrates our intention to pursue the diversification of our artistic content through different live productions."
CKX and Cirque du Soleil will each own 50 percent of each Elvis Presley Project, sharing equally in the costs of creating, developing, building and producing each project and in the profits from each Project. CKX will also receive royalty payments on various aspects of its intellectual property used in the Elvis Presley Projects.
The parties have agreed to open at least one touring show in Europe and/or Asia and one "Elvis Experience" outside of the United States by 2008. Beginning in 2009, at least one Elvis Presley Project will be opened in each of the next six years. Beginning in 2014, at least one Elvis Presley Project will be opened every two years during the next eight years, through 2021. Shows in Las Vegas are not included in this arrangement at this time.
EIN Comment: This announcement is arguably the most important news since CKX bought an interest in EPE. If successful the venture will be a key driver in ensuring Elvis' legacy is publicly exposed and appreciated for the next 15 years.