ITV boss: X Factor and BGT are here to stay

Peter Fincham hints that the Simon Cowell talent shows will remain at the heart of the broadcaster's spring and autumn schedules for some time to come

Has the talent show bubble burst? Not according to ITV’s director of television, Peter Fincham, who says he thinks two of the commercial broadcaster’s biggest properties, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, are here to stay. 


“Huge brands like The X Factor and BGT are absolutely central to our schedule,” the ITV boss told a panel at the Edinburgh Television Festival this morning. “I think they’re going to be around for a long time to come.”

His comments will end speculation that ITV is perhaps readying itself to break free from Simon Cowell’s Syco production company (who make BGT and X Factor) when the current contract for both shows expires later this year. 

Since 2011, The X Factor (heading into its tenth series) has lost viewers, but still remains the biggest show on TV in the UK – and a huge revenue opportunity for the commercial broadcaster. BGT has continued to keep punters switching on in the spring, despite a challenge from the BBC’s The Voice.

At present, it appears that ITV and Syco need one another. ITV has struggled to find another talent show format that can get close to Cowell’s shows (remember Superstar?) – and Cowell doesn’t really have a broadcaster in the UK to whom he could take the two formats. 

Cowell has always said he’ll make sure he kills his talent shows before the public get bored of them. And with ITV poised to lock in for more of the same – and many millions still champing at the bit for their X Factor fix in 2013 – it looks like that day may still be quite some way off.