Here are excerpts from recent CKX filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission:
We own an 85% interest in the entities which own and/or control the commercial utilization of the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, the operation of the Graceland museum and related attractions, as well as revenue derived from Elvis Presley’s television specials, films and certain of his recorded musical works (the “Presley Business”). The Presley Business consists primarily of three components: first, intellectual property, including the licensing of the name, image, likeness and trademarks associated with Elvis Presley, as well as other owned and/or controlled intellectual property and the collection of royalties from certain motion pictures, television specials and recorded musical works and music compositions; second, the operation of the Graceland museum and related attractions and retail establishments, including Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel and other ancillary real estate assets; and third, the relationship with Cirque du Soleil, including Viva ELVIS, the theatrical show presented in Las Vegas.
We believe the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, as well as related intellectual property assets, are prime examples of the type of content that offers opportunities to generate increased revenue from diverse platforms and distribution channels. Elvis Presley is the best-selling solo musical recording artist in U.S. history, having sold more than one billion albums and singles worldwide and having set records for the most albums and singles that have been certified Gold® and Platinum® by the Recording Industry Association of America. Over the past five years, more than twenty-five million Elvis Presley albums, including five million of digital downloads, have been sold worldwide and approximately 519,000 people visited Graceland in 2010.
While to date the Presley Business has been successful in accomplishing its primary goal of protecting and preserving the legacy of Elvis Presley, we believe there is a significant opportunity to further enhance the image of Elvis Presley and develop commercial opportunities for the Presley Business. Together with Cirque du Soleil and MGM MIRAGE, we launched Viva ELVIS, a permanent live theatrical Vegas-style Cirque du Soleil show based on the life, times and music of Elvis Presley. The show, which is being presented at the ARIA Resort and Casino in CityCenter on the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, opened in February 2010.
Licensing and Intellectual Property
We own co-publishing rights to approximately 650 music compositions, most of which were recorded by Elvis Presley. BMG Rights Management administers the majority of the Company’s share of these compositions, along with the shares of our co-publishers under an administration agreement. More than 48.3% of our publishing income from these compositions for 2010 originated outside the United States. The public performance rights for these compositions are administered by The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the two largest U.S. based companies which license and distribute royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of copyrighted musical works in the United States.
We also own rights to receive royalties from sales of certain Elvis Presley records. Under Elvis Presley’s recording contract with RCA Corporation (“RCA”) (now part of Sony Music), he was entitled to receive an artist’s royalty on record sales. In March 1973, Elvis Presley sold his ongoing record royalty rights on everything he had recorded up to that time to RCA. We continue to receive royalties on sales of records Elvis Presley recorded after March 1973 and a marketing royalty or other fee in exchange for the right to use Elvis Presley’s name, image and likeness in connection with the sale and marketing of certain newly released compilation records that include music Elvis Presley recorded before March 1973.
Sony Music (as RCA’s successor) generally does not have the right to license master recordings featuring Elvis Presley’s musical performances for any commercial use other than the sale of records. We negotiate, together with Sony Music, when requests are received for the use of these masters in a commercial setting. In addition, we retain the right to approve remixes and edits of any of the master recordings. For example, we receive a share of the artist royalty payments for the Elvis Presley Christmas Duets album (released in Fall 2008) in exchange for approving certain edits to the master recordings used on that album.
Name, Image and Likeness
We own the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley as well as trademarks in various names and images associated with Elvis Presley. We license to others the right to use this intellectual property for merchandising and other commercial exploitation. In addition, we enter into licenses for the use of video and audio clips of Elvis Presley from various motion pictures in which he starred and the television programs which we own.
We own and have the right to exploit the rights to two of Elvis Presley’s television specials: ‘‘68 Special” (1968) and “Aloha From Hawaii” (1973) and, as a result of this ownership, we have the right to negotiate for revenue associated with the use of footage from these specials in other media and formats. We own the rights to “Elvis by the Presleys” (2005), a two-hour documentary and four-hour DVD based on and including rare archival footage, home movies and photos, and interviews with Elvis Presley, his friends and relatives, including Lisa Marie Presley and Priscilla Presley. We also own the rights to “Elvis: Viva Las Vegas” (2007), a two-hour television special examining Elvis Presley’s influence on Las Vegas, incorporating rarely seen footage of Elvis Presley performing in Las Vegas, revealing interviews with those closest to him, and special performances from some of today’s top recording stars singing Elvis Presley’s Las Vegas classics.
Elvis Presley starred in 31 feature films as an actor and two theatrically released concert documentary films. Elvis Presley had, and we are entitled to receive, participation royalties in 24 of these films. We have the right to receive royalties, but do not own the films themselves or control the content or distribution of such films. In addition, we have the rights to and negotiate for revenue associated with the use of Elvis Presley’s images as extracted from these films and embodied in other media and formats.
In addition to our own merchandising efforts, our licensing division is charged with the responsibility of protecting and preserving the integrity of Elvis Presley’s image, Graceland and other related properties. We seek to accomplish this through the pursuit of appropriate commercial opportunities that advance and complement our financial strategies while maintaining the desired branding and positioning for “Elvis” and our other properties.
The Presley Business currently has 247 licensees worldwide for the “Elvis” brand selling products in 122 countries with approximately 7,000 active skus or products in the marketplace. Examples of our licensed products and services (and the corresponding licensees) include: greeting cards (American Greetings Corporation); slot machines (IGT); satellite radio (Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc.); collectibles (The Bradford Exchange and Taylor Specialties); calendars and stationary (Mead Corporation); and The Hamilton Ventura Elvis Watch Collection (The Swatch Group).
Graceland, the 13.5 acre estate which served as the primary residence of Elvis Presley from 1957 until his passing in 1977, is located in Memphis, Tennessee. Graceland was first opened to public tours in 1982. Over the past five years, Graceland has averaged approximately 552,000 visitors per year.
We operate Graceland under the terms of a 90-year lease with The Promenade Trust, which owns a 15% interest in the Presley Business, under which 84 years remain. We prepaid approximately $3.0 million of rent at closing of the acquisition of the Presley Business and will make monthly payments of $1.00 per month during the term of the lease. We own all worldwide rights, title and interest in and to the name “Graceland,” which name may be used at additional themed locations as well as in Memphis, Tennessee.
The focal point of the Graceland business is a guided mansion tour, which includes a walk through the historic residence as well as an extensive display of Elvis’ gold records and awards, career mementos, stage costumes, jewelry, photographs and more.
In addition to the mansion, the Graceland operations include an automobile museum featuring vehicles owned and used by Elvis, the “Sincerely Elvis” and “Everything Elvis” museums, which feature changing exhibits of Elvis Presley memorabilia, an aviation exhibition featuring the airplanes on which Elvis traveled while on tour, restaurants, a wedding chapel, ticketing and parking. We also own and operate retail stores at Graceland offering Elvis Presley-themed merchandise and exclusive licensed merchandise for visitors to Graceland.
Adjacent to the Graceland real property, we own 53.4 acres of vacant land which includes sites that were previously two apartment complexes. We also own and operate the Graceland RV Park and Campground, an 18.9 acre site located directly across from the mansion, which we acquired in 2006 in connection with our plans to expand the Graceland attraction.
Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel
Adjacent to the mansion and related attractions, we operate Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, which is marketed primarily to visitors to Graceland. Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel is a 128-room boutique hotel. The hotel had an average occupancy rate of approximately 67% during the year ended December 31, 2010.
We have previously announced preliminary plans to re-develop our Graceland attraction to include an expanded visitors center, new attractions and merchandising shops and potentially a new hotel. Although we continue to consider the exact scope, cost, financing plan and timing of such a project, we expect that the redevelopment of Graceland, if and when pursued, would take several years and could require a substantial financial investment by the Company. In addition, our ability to pursue such a project would be conditioned on a number of factors, including but not limited to general economic conditions, the availability of capital and obtaining necessary approvals and concessions from local and state authorities. The Company remains committed to the growth and vitality of the Graceland property and its surroundings and will continue to study the opportunity for redevelopment on its own or together with third parties.
Graceland’s business has historically been seasonal with sharply higher numbers of visitors during the late spring and summer seasons as compared to the fall and winter seasons.
Relationship with Cirque du Soleil
Together with Cirque du Soleil and MGM MIRAGE (“MGM”), we launched Viva ELVIS, a permanent live theatrical Vegas-style Cirque du Soleil show based on the life, times and music of Elvis Presley. The show, which is being presented at the ARIA Resort and Casino in CityCenter on the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, opened in February 2010.
Under the terms of their joint venture, Elvis Presley Enterprises and Cirque du Soleil share the costs and expenses associated with developing and producing Viva ELVIS. In addition, the Company and its affiliates provide certain corporate services and license Elvis Presley-related intellectual property, and Cirque du Soleil and its affiliates provide creative input, conceptual guidance and related development experience, to the joint venture, in each case in return for agreed upon royalties and other consideration.
Under the terms of the agreement between the joint venture and MGM, MGM funded the development of the theater at the ARIA Resort and Casino in return for a portion of the ticket sales, show merchandise and other revenue related to Viva ELVIS. The portion of ticket sales, show merchandise and other revenue not allocated to MGM are shared by the joint venture and its respective affiliates.
The Company incurred cumulative expenditures in the investment of $26.4 million through 2010. In the first quarter of 2010, the Presley Business began reporting results from the Cirque du Soleil Viva ELVIS show in Las Vegas.
The Presley Business consists of entities that own and/or control the commercial utilization of the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, the operation of the Graceland museum and related attractions, as well as revenue derived from Elvis Presley’s television specials, films and certain of his recorded musical works. The Presley Business consists of two reportable segments: Royalties and Licensing — intellectual property, including the licensing of the name, image, likeness and trademarks associated with Elvis Presley, as well as other owned and/or controlled intellectual property and the collection of royalties from certain motion pictures, television specials and recorded musical works and music compositions; and Graceland Operations — the operation of the Graceland museum and related attractions and retail establishments, including Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel and other ancillary real estate assets.
The Royalties and Licensing segment generates revenue from the exploitation of the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, including physical and intellectual property owned or created by Elvis Presley during his life. The primary revenue source of this segment comes from licensing Elvis Presley’s name and likeness for consumer products, commercials and other uses and royalties and other income derived from intellectual property created by Elvis Presley including records, movies, videos and music publishing. Licensing revenue is primarily derived from long-term agreements with terms of one to five years. Although we seek to obtain significant minimum guarantees, our licensing revenue varies based on the actual product sales generated by licensees. The intellectual property created by Elvis Presley during his lifetime which we own has generally been assigned to third parties for commercial exploitation under long-term agreements.
Although we maintain certain controls over the use of this content and, in certain cases, have rights to terminate these agreements if the third party fails to perform, our revenue from this intellectual property is highly dependent upon the ability of third parties to successfully market the content. The Presley Business began reporting results from the Cirque du Soleil Viva ELVIS show in Las Vegas in the first quarter of 2010.
The Graceland Operations segment generates its primary revenue from ticket and merchandise sales and related income from public tours of Graceland as well as from the operation of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel and the other ancillary real estate assets. Revenue from Graceland has historically been seasonal with sharply higher numbers of visitors during the late spring and summer seasons as compared to the fall and winter seasons.
Most of the Presley Business’ revenue sources are dependent upon the public’s continued interest in Elvis Presley and the intellectual property he created.
Our significant costs to operate the Presley Business include salaries, rent and other general overhead costs. Most of our costs do not vary significantly with our revenue. Our discretionary costs are generally in our marketing and promotions department which we primarily incur to maintain and/or increase the number of visitors to Graceland. We also incur expenses in exploring additional opportunities to bring Elvis Presley-related attractions to Las Vegas and other strategic locations throughout the world.
Presley Business — Graceland Operations
The following table provides a breakdown of the Presley Business — Graceland Operations revenue, cost of sales, selling, general and administrative expenses and OIBDAN for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009:
2010 2009 Variance
(Amounts in thousands)
Revenue $ 35,992 $ 36,124 $ (132 )
Cost of sales (5,557 ) (5,267 ) (290 )
Selling, general and administrative expense, excluding non-cash compensation (24,715 ) (23,495 ) (1,220 )
OIBDAN $ 5,720 $ 7,362 $ (1,642 )
OIBDAN $ 5,720 $ 7,362 $ (1,642 )
Impairment charge (2,639 ) — (2,639 )
Depreciation and amortization (2,402 ) (2,369 ) (33 )
Non-cash compensation (89 ) (97 ) 8
Operating income $ 590 $ 4,896 $ (4,306 )
The decrease in Graceland Operations revenue of $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 was primarily due to decreases in tour and exhibit revenue and ancillary revenue offset by favorable results from retail operations. Tour and exhibit revenue of $14.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 decreased $0.2 million over the prior year. This decrease resulted from a 4.4% decrease in attendance to 518,940 in 2010 from 542,728 in 2009 partially offset by a 2.9% increase in per visitor spending. Lower tourist traffic in Memphis, partly due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, affected attendance in 2010. Retail operations revenue of $14.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 increased $0.9 million compared to the prior year, due primarily to merchandise sales from an Elvis the Concert series of performances in Europe and higher Graceland sales. Other revenue, primarily hotel room revenue and ancillary real estate income, of $7.2 million for year ended December 31, 2010 was down $0.8 million compared to the prior year. The decline was primarily due to lower rental income from ancillary real estate as a result of a former rental property being prepared for an alternative use in the future and lower rates and occupancy at the Heartbreak Hotel.
Graceland Operations cost of sales increased by $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the prior year primarily due to costs for merchandise for the Elvis the Concert series.
Graceland Operations selling, general and administrative expenses increased $1.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 due to an increase in professional and legal fees of $1.6 million primarily related to a master plan initiative in 2010 that has been postponed and a $0.5 million provision for the estimated losses due to the early termination of a sublease of a property leased by the Presley Business in downtown Memphis, offset by the write-off of $0.9 million of deferred costs related to preliminary design work for the Graceland redevelopment initiative in 2009 and lower real estate taxes and other Graceland operating expenses in 2010. Graceland Operations recognized a non-cash impairment of $2.6 million to reduce the carrying amount of buildings for a former rental property owned by the Presley Business which is currently being prepared for an alternative use in the future.
Presley Business — Royalties and Licensing
The following table provides a breakdown of Presley Business — Royalties and Licensing revenue, cost of sales, selling, general and administrative expenses and OIBDAN for the years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008:
2009 2008 Variance
(Amounts in thousands)
Revenue $ 24,473 $ 18,186 $ 6,287
Cost of sales (764 ) (2,364 ) 1,600
Selling, general and administrative expense, excluding non-cash compensation (4,314 ) (5,330 ) 1,016
OIBDAN $ 19,395 $ 10,492 $ 8,903
OIBDAN $ 19,395 $ 10,492 $ 8,903
Depreciation and amortization (2,582 ) (2,582 ) —
Non-cash compensation (42 ) (39 ) (3 )
Operating income $ 16,771 $ 7,871 $ 8,900
The increase in royalties and licensing revenue of $6.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 was due to the recognition of $9.0 million of revenue, which had previously been deferred, related to the terminated FXRE license agreement and increased record royalties of $1.8 million, principally due to a settlement with Sony Music on historical audits and higher digital royalties. The increase was offset by 2008 revenue from the distribution of Elvis Viva DVD documentary of $1.8 million, lower merchandise licensing royalties of $1.3 million in the current period due to the unfavorable impact of the global recession and the strong carryover effect in 2008 from the prior anniversary year and by lower sales in the current period of a limited edition collectible DVD box set of Elvis Presley movies launched in 2007 of $1.1 million. Other royalties decreased by a net $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 with higher revenue from the sales of television and video rights offsetting lower publishing and film royalties. Royalties and licensing cost of sales decreased $1.6 million due to lower cost of production and commissions of $1.1 million related to the distribution of the 2008 Elvis Viva DVD and lower cost of sales of the DVD box set. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased by $1.0 million in the current period primarily due to lower advertising and marketing costs for the DVD box set of $0.4 million, $0.3 million of lower costs related to the Elvis Viva DVD and lower legal expenses.
Presley Business — Graceland Operations
The following table provides a breakdown of the Presley Business — Graceland Operations revenue, cost of sales, selling, general and administrative expenses and OIBDAN for the years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008:
2009 2008 Variance
(Amounts in thousands)
Revenue $ 36,124 $ 36,713 $ (589 )
Cost of sales (5,267 ) (5,674 ) 407
Selling, general and administrative expense, excluding non-cash compensation (23,495 ) (24,835 ) 1,340
OIBDAN $ 7,362 $ 6,204 $ 1,158
OIBDAN $ 7,362 $ 6,204 $ 1,158
Depreciation and amortization (2,369 ) (2,251 ) (118 )
Non-cash compensation (97 ) (79 ) (18 )
Operating income $ 4,896 $ 3,874 $ 1,022
Graceland Operations revenue decreased $0.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 compared to 2008 due to lower ancillary revenue, which was partially offset by favorable results from tours and exhibits. Tour and exhibit revenue of $14.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 increased $0.5 million over the prior year. This increase resulted from a 2.4% increase in visitor spending and a 1.2% increase in attendance to 542,728 in 2009 from 536,196 in 2008. Retail operations revenue of $13.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 decreased $0.4 million compared to the prior year due to lower e-commerce revenue and a slight decrease in per-visitor spending offset by the increase in attendance. Other revenue, primarily hotel room revenue and ancillary real estate income of $8.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, was down $0.7 million compared to the prior year. The decline was due to 13% lower hotel occupancy resulting from fewer foreign travelers, and the loss of rental income from ancillary real estate primarily due to the closure of one property.
Graceland Operations cost of sales decreased by $0.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 compared to the prior year due to cost improvements in merchandise.
Graceland Operations selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $1.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 primarily due to a $1.1 million provision recorded in 2008 for estimated losses due to the early termination of the sublease of a property leased by the Presley Business in downtown Memphis, decreases in salaries and benefits of $0.2 million, professional and legal costs primarily related to master plan initiatives of $0.5 million and insurance of $0.1 million and other operating expense declines, including lower costs related to special events of $0.1 million. These declines were offset by the write-off of $0.9 million of deferred costs related to preliminary design work for the Graceland redevelopment initiative. The Company has determined that there is a strong likelihood that the original preliminary design plans may require significant modifications or abandonment for a redesign due to current economic conditions and a lack of certainty as to exact scope, cost, financing plan and timing of this project. The lack of certainty and likely need for significant modifications and/or redesign was amplified by the termination of the FXRE license agreement, which had granted FXRE the rights to the development of one or more hotel(s) at Graceland as a component of the redevelopment initiative. Therefore, the Company determined that these cost should be written off in March 2009. The Company remains committed to the Graceland re-development and will continue to pursue opportunities on its own or with third parties.
(But wait, there's more! Here's the scoop on Priscilla's "consultant" deal with CKX: http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/7930 ... v10w39.htm