(New York) Unconfirmed sources report the major networks have kicked off a bidding war for the broadcast rights of celebrity funerals. With the unexpected and profitable death of Michael Jackson proving there is a market, the networks, publicists and celebrities alike are looking to cash in before they die.
According to the new York law firm of Crouch and Swindle, several famous personalities are in negotiations with producers and networks. Insiders report Keith Richards, Paul Macartney, John McCain and Rush Limbaugh have already sold the television, internet and product licenses for their own deaths. While all are reported to be in good health, " You can't be too careful" said David Crouch.
Entertainment lawyer Steven Essex explained the benefits of the new "Death Rights Contracts". "With the marketing arrangements made ahead of time retrospective Cds, DVDs and television specials can be ready at a moments notice." According to Essex , "The surprise death of Michael Jackson caught everyone off guard. Amazon was wiped out within minutes, the internet caved and merchandise sales were crippled due to tangled license agreements and a lack of organization. It was a mad scramble to cash in, mistakes were made." Stated Essex.
Others close to the Jackson case called the singers death a double tragedy. The loss of such a talent and the failure of his estate to fully capitalize on his death. Industry insiders believe that a properly managed death of a personality such as Jackson should have brought in at-least 85 million in sales of music and merchandise.