ITV are reportedly at war with X Factor bosses over the show's huge £33 million contract.
X Factor producers are currently negotiating contracts for this year's judging panel, and the bills are said to be quickly rising.
It's the tenth series of the show and all four of the rumoured panel - Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne - are after seven figure deals.
Nicole alone is looking to double her £750,000 fee from last year, reportedly demanding £1.5 million for her second series.
“Last year it was all so rushed, she was a last minute replacement for Kelly Rowland, so she couldn’t negotiate properly," an insider told The Sun this month. “This time around, she is understandably playing hardball. She knows that she is the judge that people are still talking about.”
The source added to the newspaper: “Nicole sees the role as a job, not just a chance to be on TV. She hopes for an agreement but she won’t go back unless terms are right.”
Sharon, widely tipped to replace Tulisa on the show, is apparently wanting upwards of £2 million as well having originally quit the show back in 2007.
But ITV are refusing to increase the show's already huge £33 million budget, no doubt especially after last year's lacklustre ratings.
“Producers know it will cost significantly more than last year,” an insider told The Sun this week.
"If there’s a hold-up, it could mean someone is not given a judging role and it’s back to the drawing board.”
ITV boss Peter Fincham and The X Factor's top producer Richard Holloway are set to discuss the new series this week.
Auditions for The X Factor 2013 have already started with mobile try outs around the country already ongoing.