Channels 7 and 9 are set to launch a bidding war for the X Factor after attending a London summit called by the show’s creator Simon Cowell in London last week.
Nine’s director of production and development Andrew Backwell, Seven programmer Tim Worner and Sony Music chief Dennis Handlin – whose company would give the winner a record contract – attended the conference organised by the man dubbed Mr Nasty, who wants to make the show a global phenomenon and overtake the success of the various Idols.
A source has said Cowell had told the reps an Australian version would have to be made “my way or the highway”.
FremantleMedia owns the X Factor’s Australian distribution rights and a spokesman told Confidential: “Given its success in the UK and the announcement of its launch in the US we would love the opportunity to produce it in Australia.”
It is believed that Ten won’t air Australian Idol this year after a soft 2009 and due to timing conflicts with the Commonwealth Games. This could open the way for Seven or Nine to exploit the gap making Idol’s 2011 return a little more difficult.
Source: Media Week