Sony Inks Reported $250 Million Michael Jackson Deal
Sony can distribute Jackson's material through 2017, so it's betting on the artist's long-term appeal. The deal is also retroactive to cover the income from Jackson's concert film This Is It, although other parts of the Jackson estate are not included in the agreement. The income from the transaction will be used, at least in part, to pay down tens of millions of dollars in debts that Jackson owed.
The Forbes annual list of dead celebrities, called "Dead Celebs," shows that the bet on Jackson is probably a safe one. He ranks third on the list with $90 million in earnings in 2009. Yves Saint Laurent is first with $350 million followed by Rogers & Hammerstein at $235 million. Elvis is fourth at $55 million.
Jackson has regained his popularity but at an awful cost.