'X-Factor' Seals Record $5M Deal WIth Sony/Syco


Among the many TV promos it aired during the Super Bowl, Fox pushed out one major effort for "The X Factor" -- one day before a big Sony Music Entertainment/Syco Records deal for the show.

The promo featured pieces of a man being put together -- against a soaring ending choral piece of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony -- to reveal Simon Cowell. The ex-high-profile judge of "American Idol" was positioned to viewers in a graphic as: "He's Back. The X-Factor."

A day after the Super Bowl, the highly touted show got another bit of big news: a record deal with Sony Music/Syco Records where the winner of the new talent show will get a $5 million prize -- the largest guaranteed prize ever for a television show, according to a release.

Syco is a joint venture between Sony Music and Cowell. "The X Factor" is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America.



In the coming weeks, an "X Factor" host and judges panel will be unveiled. It's all but assumed that Cowell will be back in one of those judge's chairs for the U.S. version. He is a judge on the U.K. version of the show.

The moves come after a hotly contested marketing/brand entertainment deal where Pepsi beat out Coca-Cola -- a longtime sponsor of "American Idol" -- after a battle to strike a deal with "The X Factor." Pepsi will be an official sponsor of the show, which will include an extensive, multiplatform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and a content experience online.

Late last year, Fox began running a print/outdoor media campaign touting "X Factor."

TV analysts believe "The X Factor" will help bridge Fox's sometimes problem with starting up in the fall, to do what "American Idol" does for the network when it starts up in January -- offer up big ratings. "The X Factor" is scheduled to debut this fall.

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