In new extracts from Simon's biography, it's claimed that Simon warned he'd “flatten” the channel after relationships between his Syco company and ITV turned sour.
“My relationship with ITV has hit an all-time low," Simon is quoted as saying in the book. “Our ratings are poor and ITV is hostile.”
In tense meetings with ITV bosses Adam Crozier and Peter Fincham, Simon apparently warned: “If you produce new reality programmes to fill the gap you’ll flood the market and damage The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
“We’ve been loyal to ITV for 10 years, so you should show some respect.
“If you mount a rival talent show against me, I will go to another channel and flatten you.”
He added: “Punching buttons on your remote is not a problem.”
It was reported this week that Simon wanted to 'rest' The X Factor after its tenth series next summer.
The current contract for both The X Factor and its sister show Britain's Got Talent expires in 2013, leaving the opportunity for the show to either change channels or be axed completely.
However ITV1 boss Peter Fincham previously told reporters at last month’s Edinburgh TV festival that the reality show had “years” on the channel.
“It’s not the 100m, it’s the 10,000m. It’s got years. Think Mo Farah not Usain Bolt,” he explained. “It’s an illusion to think that a show like The X Factor will go on a slide. People said that about Strictly after numbers fell for a couple of years and then it came back.”
And sources added that ITV will be keen to keep The X Factor on air.
“ITV will do everything it can to keep The X Factor on the air, even if the ratings continue to fall this year. It’s still their blockbuster show,” an insider told the Daily Mail newspaper yesterday.