Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy Some Ratings?

So, TV fan, never heard of the name CXK, Inc.? They own some pretty cool property: the rights to Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali’s names and images, Graceland itself (yeah, the house turned museum down Memphis way) and this little thing called 19 Entertainment.

Heard of the last one? They do this thing on television called American Idol in America, Pop Idol in the UK and dozens of variations. In 2005, the company reported $120 million in revenue. Last year, that number rose to $210 million, still peanuts by big company standards, but pretty darn impressive for the value of its properties.

And that’s the issue now.

Shareholders are suing, alleging that the insider purchase using debt and leveraged buyout techniques undervalue the company. You probably won’t learn much more now that CEO Robert Sillerman has led a group (including Idol’s Simon Fuller) to take the company private. No more messy Wall Street reports like the one that quoted Bob’s compensation at around $750,000.

Anyone believe the boss of the guy who runs American Idol makes less than a million a year?

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