The X Factor could be ditched by ITV if ratings fall below a certain level, a new report claims.
As things stand the show is back for its thirteenth series later this year, the last in its current contract with ITV.
The channel has insisted recently that it plans to keep the show on air, saying this week: “As we have already said, the contracts for The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent come up for renewal after the latest series air later this year, and we fully intend to continue with both shows into 2017 and beyond.”
However the Daily Mirror newspaper reports that ITV is keen for a clause that could see The X Factor dropped if viewing figures fall further.
A source told the tabloid this week: “Negotiations are going well and a deal is definitely going to be done. The show is a huge part of ITV’s schedule but there has been a lot of talk about ratings sliding.
“The deal is likely to include a clause which would let them drop it if viewing figures slipped too far. With the right judging line-up, it can remain a huge hit.”
Last year's run was the least watched on average since the first series, although numbers did pick up towards the end with 8.5 million tuning in for the final.
This year the show will once again see a massive revamp as the judges change for the fifth consecutive series.
Louis Walsh is expected to make a comeback, teasing this week: “It looks like I’m back but I haven’t signed. I can’t say I have the job until I’ve signed the contract.”
As for who else could be on the panel, he speculated: “Me, obviously, and Simon. Sharon – she might be back,” adding that he wanted Nicole Scherzinger to join them.
Other changes this year will include the return of the room auditions and Dermot O'Leary as host.
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