'X Factor' Lands Cowell $42 Million
one of the most hyped television shows of the year, “The X Factor” may
have had disappointing ratings, but the show still turned out to be a
big payday for Simon Cowell, its creator.
According to corporate
filings in Britain made public this week, Mr. Cowell made about $42
million through a deal with Sony last year that established Syco
Entertainment, a joint-venture company for Mr. Cowell’s various
entertainment businesses, including “The X Factor,” as The Guardian of London reported.
Sony’s 50 percent share in Syco, the company paid about $49 million and
turned over its ownership stakes in two of Mr. Cowell’s other
entertainment properties, Simco and Ronagold. Mr. Cowell received $42
million of that money by turning over the shares of another company
under his control, Maidmetal.
The deal, struck in March 2010,
established Syco as a holding company for a number of Mr. Cowell’s
entertainment businesses. Simco is its television production arm;
Ronagold exploits recording rights; and Maidmetal is for music
publishing. Another company handles concert tours for contestants on “X
Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent.”
For its first season in the United States, “The X Factor” has shaped up as a ratings disappointment. On
Wednesday night, the second to last show, 11.1 million viewers tuned in
for the contestants’ final performances; on Thursday, when Melanie
Amaro, a 19-year-old from Florida, was crowned the winner, the total was
12.4 million, a 25 percent increase from last Thursday.
But those numbers fell short of the 20 million that Mr. Cowell had once promised for the show. “The X Factor” was only about half as popular as Mr. Cowell’s last show, “American Idol.”
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