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Simon Cowell in talks to launch global Internet 'The X Factor' from Vegas


By Christopher Rocchio, 12/01/2009 

Simon Cowell reportedly has a new plan on how to bring his U.K. The X Factor reality series stateside while also launching it internationally at the same time.

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The American Idol judge and his business partner Sir Philip Green are discussing plans to bring The X Factor to Las Vegas as part of an international pay-per-view Internet venture, they told the January issue of GQ's British magazine, Reuters reported.

"The plan is to take it to Vegas....We'll have a permanent place. The home of The X Factor -- live from Vegas," Green told GQ, according to Reuters.

"It'll all be online. You have 20, 30, 40 million people tuning in twice a week. You bring two or three hundred million viewers to a venue. It's turning it up a peg."

Cowell and Green said they are currently in negotiations with the chief executive of a major hotel-casino venue in Las Vegas to find a permanent home for the new international version of the show, according to Reuters, which added the idea is to stage two talent shows a week and broadcast them over the Internet on a pay-per-view basis.

The overall goal would reportedly be to stage The X Factor competitions in countries around the world.

Cowell claimed he got the idea for an international The X Factor project after Susan Boyle finished as Britain's Got Talent's runner up earlier this year and became a global YouTube sensation.

Cowell created The X Factor and has served as a judge on the series since it premiered in the U.K. in September 2004.  His 20 million pound deal with ITV ends this month after the show's sixth season concludes, and he has reportedly decided it will be the last season on which he will serve as a judge.

The idea of bringing The X Factor to American has been a hot topic of conversation this year.

Cowell stated in April that once the November 2005 five-season agreement he signed with Fox expires after Idol's ninth season next spring, he would be free to sell the rights to The X Factor stateside and even appear on-screen for the series -- which is something he currently can't do with any of his other American projects due to his Fox contract.

This past summer, it was reported that Cowell was in talks with U.S. networks about launching The X Factor in America.  While he reportedly wanted to air The X Factor as a "friendly rival" to American Idol, a deal to bring The X Factor to Fox was not ruled out of the question at the time.

In August, CKX -- the parent company of American Idol's 19 Entertainment production company -- revealed that Cowell was believed to be finalizing a new two-year deal to remain with Idol.

It was subsequently reported in September that Cowell and Fox were negotiating the final parts of a new two-year, $50 million-a-season deal that will keep him with American Idol through its 2012 edition.

As part of the new agreement, the Cowell and Fox were also reportedly attempting to launch an American version of The X Factor, for which Cowell could earn an additional $50 million per season.

(Photo credit Fox)


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