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[02/07/11 - 05:39 AM]
"The X Factor" Announces $5 Million Sony Music/Syco Record Deal for Winner
Auditions for the inaugural season begin on Sunday, March 27 in Los Angeles at the L.A. Sports Arena.

[via press release from FOX]

"THE X FACTOR" ... HAVE YOU GOT IT?

"THE X FACTOR" ANNOUNCES $5 MILLION SONY MUSIC/SYCO RECORD DEAL FOR WINNER

SINGERS AND VOCAL GROUPS AGE 12 AND OVER ELIGIBLE TO AUDITION IN FRONT OF AUDIENCES OF THOUSANDS

Young Guys, Young Girls, Older Singers and Vocal Groups Who Have What It Takes To Be a Global Superstar Are All Invited

Auditions Begin Sunday, March 27, in Los Angeles; Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York/New Jersey and Seattle Also to Host Auditions

Sign Up Now for Audition Information at www.fox.com/theXfactor

Simon Cowell, Sony Music, FremantleMedia North America and FOX announced today that the highly anticipated singing competition series THE X FACTOR will award the show's winner with a record-breaking $5 million record deal - the largest guaranteed prize in television history - with Syco, a joint venture between Sony Music and Cowell.

THE X FACTOR is looking for talent young and old alike - with no upper age limit - to audition for a shot at becoming the next global music sensation. Auditions for the inaugural season of THE X FACTOR begin on Sunday, March 27 in Los Angeles at the L.A. Sports Arena. Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York/New Jersey and Seattle will also host auditions. Specific dates and venues to be announced.

"I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group," said Cowell. "I've never believed there should be a cut-off age for talent, and we are going to put our money where our mouths are with the $5 million recording contract. I'm doing this show in America because I genuinely believe we can find a superstar."

"I have always been proud of the achievements of THE X FACTOR worldwide, and am looking forward to its American launch," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation. "I have no doubt THE X FACTOR will find winners worthy of international acclaim and career longevity, and believe with Sony's worldwide effort, the winners' potential can be unlimited."

"THE X FACTOR has become a worldwide phenomenon and is unlike anything we've seen in America," said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "The British version is wildly entertaining, but also has a penchant for stirring up controversy. You never know what Simon has up his sleeve, and since he will be working both behind and in front of the camera, the country should brace itself to expect the unexpected."

"Since its U.K. debut in 2004, THE X FACTOR has proven itself a global success story in numerous territories worldwide," said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America. "Now, as we bring this widely popular format to U.S. audiences, I look forward to building a new franchise for a new decade with the return of the inimitable Simon Cowell."

THE X FACTOR judges will travel the nation searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over - both solo artists and vocal groups - who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams come true. In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time a contestant auditions for the judges, he/she will do so in front of an audience of thousands - raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence that it takes to become a global superstar and win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

In the coming weeks, THE X FACTOR host and judges panel will be unveiled and announcements will be made about audition opportunities that will give everyone 12 or over in America - no matter where they live - the chance to show that they've got it. There also will be reveals of unprecedented initiatives that will make THE X FACTOR unlike anything else on television.

Solo singers and vocal groups who believe they have what it takes to compete on THE X FACTOR should sign up now for audition information at www.fox.com/theXfactor. Additional details, including eligibility requirements, are also available on the site. Hopefuls should check back regularly for updated information and complete audition rules and registration forms.

As previously announced, Pepsi will serve as an official sponsor of THE X FACTOR. The comprehensive sponsorship includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online.

THE X FACTOR is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Cowell, Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.

About "The X Factor"

Since its debut in 2004, "The X Factor" has remained the U.K.'s #1 program for the last seven years, peaking with an audience of 21 million with 65% audience share for its 2010 finale. The format swiftly broke similar records around the world, where local versions have consistently rated #1 in 15 territories, with a worldwide audience now well over 100 million. In Denmark, it has ranked #1 for the last four years, peaking with an 80% share of the audience. In Colombia, it has consistently ranked #1 with a 75% share of the audience. Additionally, "The X Factor" consistently delivers a 50% to 65% share of the viewing audiences in Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, France and Italy - with the highest percentage of these shares in A15-34. In some markets, "The X Factor" has increased the channel average demographic by up to 250%. The series has received numerous honors worldwide, including three BAFTA awards, numerous NTA awards and the coveted Rose d'Or. In the U.K., an unprecedented 1.5 million iTunes downloads were made from "The X Factor" contestant performances in 2010. Globally, more than 100 million records have been sold by artists launched through the series, including over 90 #1 singles and albums and 150 Top Ten records.

About Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including American Recordings, Arista Nashville, Arista Records, Battery Records, Beach Street Records, BNA Records, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, RCA Red Seal, RCA Victor, Reunion Records, Roc Nation, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Verity Gospel Music Group, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

About Syco/Simon Cowell

Syco, with offices in London and Los Angeles, is a global music, television and film production joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment. Syco Television owns and produces the BAFTA Award-winning "The X Factor," which has topped the charts around the world. Syco Television is also the owner of the "Got Talent" television format. Versions of both "The X Factor" and "Got Talent" are co-produced by Syco, and are shown in more than 70 countries and have won multiple awards including national television awards and BAFTAs. THE X FACTOR launches in America on FOX in Fall 2011 with Cowell as a judge.

Syco is also the record label home for such diverse international recording stars as Leona Lewis and Il Divo. Cowell has worked with artists selling more than 200 million albums and delivering more than 180 No. 1 records. Britain's Got Talent in 2009 launched the global singing career of Susan Boyle. Her debut Syco album sold over 8 million units in six weeks, making it the world's biggest-selling album of 2009 and the fastest-selling album in history and a total of 20 million records to date.

In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter's Top 50 Most Powerful in Reality TV and Entertainment Weekly's Top Entertainer of the Year. In 2010 Simon Cowell was awarded Variety International's Humanitarian Award for his extensive charitable work, The Rose d'Or Golden Jubilee Award and BAFTA's Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry and development of new talent. He also appeared on Time Magazine's list of Most Influential People in the World and was awarded the International Emmy Founders Award.

About FremantleMedia North America

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative programs for network, cable, syndicated and online platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon AMERICAN IDOL (FOX), "America's Got Talent" (NBC), "What Chilli Wants" (VH1), "Hole In The Wall" (Cartoon Network), "Jump City: Seattle" (G4), "Let's Make A Deal" (CBS), "Family Feud" (syn), "The Price Is Right" (CBS), and the much-anticipated THE X FACTOR for Fall 2011.





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