London/New York – January 19, 2010 – Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment today announced the creation of a new long-term global venture to focus on the production and exploitation of music, television, film and digital content. The new venture will own all of the existing Syco television and music assets, which include the global TV franchises “The X Factor” and “Got Talent”, as well as Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Il Divo. The new venture, which will continue to use the “Syco” name, will be co-owned by Sony Music and a Simon Cowell-owned company. Syco will be based in London and will also have offices in Los Angeles.
As the first project under the new Syco banner, Fox Television announced (on January 11th) that it will launch the U.S. version of the worldwide hit TV show, “The X Factor”, in the fall of 2011. Cowell will serve as both executive producer and judge on the U.S. version of the show. “The X Factor” is a Syco-owned television format, which currently airs in 17 countries and has been the #1 UK entertainment show for the last three years, reaching record UK audiences in 2009 of 20 million with 60% audience share. “The X Factor” is the No.1 music- entertainment format in Europe.
In addition to “The X Factor”, Syco is also the owner of the “Got Talent” TV format which currently airs in 27 countries and is the UK’s most successful TV format export. In 2009, “Britain’s Got Talent” launched the global music career of Susan Boyle, whose debut album, “I Dreamed A Dream”, sold over 8 million albums in six weeks, making it the world’s biggest selling album of 2009 and the fastest selling album in history.
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 180 million albums and delivered more than 150 No.1 records. In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter’s Top 50 Most Powerful in Reality TV and one of Entertainment Weekly’s Top Entertainers of the Year.
“I have had a fantastic relationship with Sony for many years and I’m delighted we are launching this venture together,” Cowell said.
“Over the past 20 years, Simon Cowell has been a great partner and is an integral part of the Sony Music global family. We are extremely excited to be able to continue and further develop our relationship with Simon, and significantly grow the Syco venture,” said Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment.
“Simon Cowell is one of the most prominent and successful creative music and television executives in the entertainment business today. This new venture will allow Sony Music and all Sony divisions to develop and pursue a host of new opportunities with this supremely talented individual,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation.