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China's Wanda buys US TV rights owner Dick Clark Productions
[BEIJING] Chinese property-to-entertainment conglomerate Wanda Group is buying US television rights owner Dick Clark Productions for "approximately US$1 billion", it said Friday.
Wanda has invested heavily in film, buying Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment earlier this year, and the latest deal marks its entry into television production, it said in a statement, calling it "a big step forward in expanding Wanda's map in the entertainment industry".
Dick Clark owns the television rights to events ranging from the Golden Globes cinema awards to the New Year countdown in New York's Times Square, and makes the hit series "So You Think You Can Dance".
It describes itself on its website as "the world's largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming" and owning "one of the world's most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries".
Its lowercase "dc" logo is a common sight in US television.
Wanda, headed by one of China's richest men Wang Jianlin, has its roots in commercial real estate development but has diversified widely in recent years into entertainment and sports.
As well as the US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion) Legendary acquisition, in 2012 it bought US movie theatre chain AMC for US$2.6 billion, which in turn acquired the London-based Odeon & UCI cinema group in a deal worth around US$1.2 billion.
It also has a 20 per cent share in Spanish football club Atletico Madrid.
It said the acquisition meant it would have the "highest-end" television resources from the beginning of its expansion into the medium.
"Obtaining top television production rights brings about complementary and coordinated development for Wanda's current focuses on the film, tourism, and sports industries," it said.