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Simon Cowell has taken ownership of The X Factor and Got Talent formats after buying out Sony Music Entertainment's share of their joint-venture:

15 July, 2020 16:00 London, 11:00 New York, 08:00 Los Angeles – Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment have reached an agreement for Cowell to acquire Sony Music Entertainment’s stake in their global joint venture talent and production company, which owns TV super-formats Got Talent and The X Factor, both created by Cowell and which were launched in 2006 and 2004 respectively. This buy-out, personally by Cowell, is the result of a buyback option maintained by Cowell through their joint-venture renewals and a mutual negotiation process. As part of the agreement, Sony Music will retain the JV’s music assets, including its roster of current artists and back catalog.

The agreement for Cowell to personally acquire Sony Music’s share of the joint venture will transfer ownership of all of the television formats to a privately held company to be called Syco Entertainment. Cowell will have sole ownership of this independent entertainment company.
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The Sun have done a report on this. Not sure how much truth there is in it but in short they think it’s a major response to things not going well:

Won’t go into the music stuff as it isn’t relevant here but it does mention something that has been speculated about here before, that there have been times when Cowell has gone and announced plans in the press before sorting them with ITV, who have been left bemused and having to pick up the pieces.

Some of the decisions made around X Factor in the past two to three years have been...odd to say the least. Some of them certainly don’t seem like decisions ITV would normally have made (the Robbie/Ayda fiasco and paying Louis and Sharon off, anything to do with The Band etc).

Although rather than it being an ITV issue, I think the wheels truly coming off can be traced back to the departure of Richard Holloway from Thames in Autumn 2017. He’d worked on the show since its inception and seemed to be keeping things just about under control. It was after he left when the really odd decisions started to be made, beginning with the bizarre live format in 2017 with the prize fight, then the Robbie/Ayda panel with all the life being sucked out of the show, then last year’s mess with the various spin-offs.
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Agree regarding Richard Halloway leaving - and Simon potentially having even more control won't do his formats any favours.

If 2017 had kept the Sing Off instead of the Prize Fight nonsense it may have faired better - personally I preferred the accelerated format of performances on Saturdays and Sundays and it's the last time they had some real original talent, but after original songs from Raksu and Grace Davies were really welcomed by viewers not only were they mismanaged in terms of what happened after, but the show failed to build on it too, going back to basically a karaoke show.

Still think though lockdown could have been a potential saviour to The X Factor, stripping it right back to basics with Zoom auditions and home performances.
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Yes I'm not sure Cowell having more control will do any good at all, particularly as ITV only seem to be restraining him so far. Perhaps they've got him on a tighter leash now X Factor isn't coming back this year.

Richard Holloway leaving during the 2017 series (he did the pre-records but not the lives that year) was followed by Mark Sidaway leaving at the end of 2017. So that was two major producers who'd worked on the show since the very early days gone in quick succession and it did seem to fall apart badly afterwards. Of course it was declining anyway (as most formats eventually do) but up until they left it was still a well produced piece of TV. Nothing like the disaster of last year's celebrity version.

I don't think they could have made the sing off work with the 2017 split format unless they'd complicated it, as the format relied on them losing an even number of acts each week so they could have the same number of acts each night. I do think there was something in having a contained show with all of the performances and results in one night though, arguably that was the one thing the celeb version got right that they could carry forward if/when it returns next year.

American Idol and The Voice both saw quite noticeable ratings drops when they switched to home performances so I'm not sure that's the answer. But stripping it back probably is. Whenever they go back to the room auditions it always goes well for them, I've no idea why after a couple of years they stop doing them and go back to the soulless arenas.

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