Cowell, 50, dropped the bombshell yesterday when he revealed he is not ready to sign a new contract. And insiders have revealed he is demanding a massive increase in the budget to persuade him to stay. The show is currently earning about 1.7million pounds for every weekend of the live finals, and Cowell wants it to be increased to at least 2million pounds plus extra for auditions and a pay rise for the judges.
“Where we stand for next year is that we have no deal for The X Factor," the Daily Star quoted him as saying. “We have to get that sorted out first of all and that"s a conversation I will be having next year with ITV.
“When we do a negotiation with a network, it"s not about salary for the people on it, it"s how much money they are going to invest over a period of time. Until we have resolved that, I think it"s difficult to say if we will be back," he added.
The final shows tomorrow and Sunday are expected to attract 20m viewers, bolstering Cowell"s argument at a time when commercial channels are still deeply anxious about revenue from advertising.