Simon Cowell buys full control of ‘Got Talent,’ ‘X Factor’ franchises

Simon Cowell is to take full control of “Got Talent” and “The X Factor” producer Syco Entertainment after agreeing to buy out Sony Music Entertainment’s stake in the joint venture.

Cowell is personally buying out the stake and the move will give him sole ownership of the entertainment company. It is the result of a buyback option maintained by Cowell through their joint-venture renewals and a mutual negotiation process.

Sony Music will retain the JV’s music assets, including its roster of current artists and back catalog.

In 2005, Sony Music Entertainment purchased Cowell’s share of Syco Music and Syco Television. In 2009, Cowell launched a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment whereby the JV owned the rights to several television formats including “Got Talent” and “X Factor.”

It comes as the mogul appears to have been rejuvenated by the Coronavirus lockdown. He recently told Deadline that he had come up with three new formats. “I have had to use my brain more than any other time of my life both on the current shows we own and the new shows we are going to make,” he said. “I have had more time than I’ve ever had before so we have, for instance, three new formats which we didn’t have 12 months ago because I’ve had the time to work on them, develop them properly and the last time I did that or had the time to do it, honestly was around 2005  – which was about the time I came up with ‘Got Talent.’ I’m very excited.”

Simon Cowell said, “I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Rob and all of the Sony Music executives, artists and partners all over the world. It’s been a unique partnership and Sony have always backed and supported me to create television formats. The shows we created have found so many amazing artists over the years and so many of the various Sony labels all over the world have enabled so many of those artists to fulfill their dreams.”

He added, “We have all shared some incredible achievements, and importantly we have had lots of fun. I won’t say this was an easy decision to make, however; sometimes you have to personally support something you are so passionate about. I’ve always believed it’s important to take on new goals in order to drive new ideas and creativity so I’m very excited to be taking an independent and creatively-led Syco Entertainment into the future.”

Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group, added, “At this particular contractual crossroads, it was simply the right thing for Simon to take control of his TV assets and propel his company in a new direction. Sony Music has had incredible global success with so many artists that have been launched through Simon’s vision and innovation and we are proud to continue to represent the Syco music catalog and its artists. On a personal note, it has been an amazing adventure working with him as we have shared so many exciting pop culture moments as friends and partners.”

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