Simon Cowell gambling on Internet Vegas talent show

Wed Dec 2, 2009 11:05am EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British TV and record producer Simon Cowell, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in British and U.S. show business, is planning to bring his "The X Factor" talent show to Las Vegas in a global pay-per-view Internet venture.

Cowell, 50, best-known as the acerbic judge on America's top-rated TV singing contest "American Idol", told the British version of GQ magazine he had partnered with British retail billionaire Sir Philip Green on the new "X-Factor".

The pair said they are in negotiations with the chief executive of a major hotel-casino venue in Las Vegas to find a permanent home for a new version of the show.

The British reality TV singing contest created by Cowell in 2004 has produced stars like Leona Lewis and has spin-off versions in 19 nations.

"The plan is to take it to Vegas....We'll have a permanent place. The home of 'The X Factor' -- live from Vegas," the January issue of the magazine quoted Green as saying.

Cowell and Green said the idea was to stage two talent shows a week in Las Vegas and broadcast them over the Internet on a pay-per-view basis.

"It'll all be online. You have 20, 30, 40 million people tuning in twice a week," Green told GQ. "You bring two or three hundred million viewers to a venue. It's turning it up a peg."

The pair would then aim later to stage "X Factor" competitions in countries around the world.

Cowell, whose Syco record label is part of the Sony Music Entertainment empire, also created the TV shows "America's Got Talent" and "Britain's Got Talent".   Continued...