Simon Cowell teams with Sony


Sony Music entertainment has struck a new deal with Simon Cowell which will give it a stake in his television and film ventures, but rearrange the terms of its existing ownership of Cowell’s record label, Syco. Job one for the new venture is the US launch of “X Factor.”

“I have had a fantastic relationship with Sony for many years and I’m delighted we are launching this venture together,” said a statement from Cowell as the new venture was announced in London.

According to the Financial Times, which first reported the deal, Sony Music is exchanging its 100% ownership of Cowell’s record label for a 50% share of the new venture covering various types of media. Certainly the launch of “X Factor” on Fox in the Fall of 2011 is a big attraction for the Sony investment.

“With the launch of The X Factor in the US, we look forward to replicating the unprecedented success the show has had in the UK [and] globally,” said Ged Doherty, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment UK.

Sir Philip Green will act as an advisor to Cowell and will be a shareholder in the company.

“The X Factor” is a Syco-owned television format, which currently airs in 17 countries and has been the #1 UK entertainment show for the last three years, reaching record UK audiences in 2009 of 20 million with 60% audience share. “The X Factor” is the No.1 music- entertainment format in Europe.

In addition to “The X Factor”, Syco is also the owner of the “Got Talent” TV format which currently airs in 27 countries. In the US, “America’s Got Talent” airs on NBC.

RBR-TVBR observation: What’s most interesting about the press coverage received by Cowell over his plans to launch X Factor in the US is that the focus has been on the judges. Pairing Cowell and Paula Abdul again for X Factor, as is the current rumor, apparently has many people excited. Excited over the judges? What about the performers?

Some of the winners of the past six seasons of X Factor in the UK have apparently had some success as recording artists in the UK market, although others have quickly faded and are only known for having won on the show. None, though, have been able to achieve any international success.