LOS ANGELES — The Eastman Kodak Co. will pay $75 million over 20 years to put its name on a new theater that will be the permanent home of the Academy Awards show, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The deal would be the largest sale of naming rights for a non-sports venue. An official announcement was expected Wednesday.
The Kodak Theater will enable the photography and technology company to reach millions of television viewers who watch the Oscars. The telecast last year was watched by 46.3 million people in the United States.
The selling of naming rights has been expanding as corporate sponsors move beyond sports arenas to entertainment venues. Developers and building owners cover some of their costs by selling the right to name projects.
Selling the name rights to the new theater had been planned from the beginning of the project to make it more economical, said Lee Wagman, president of TrizecHahn Development Corp., the developer.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which conducts the Oscars show, will not benefit financially from the Kodak deal, but approved of it, the newspaper said.
The theater will open late next year and the first Academy Awards ceremony there is scheduled for 2002.