ITV has responded to a number of press reports casting doubt over the future of The X Factor following a continued decline in viewership and a change of management at the network.
The search-for-a-singer show launched in 2004 as the successor to Pop Idol but has had a turbulent past few years, regularly beaten in the ratings by BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing. It was reported earlier this week that ITV are not looking to renew their contract for the show when the opportunity arises later this year. The format had its worst series to date last year with dismal ratings and its winner, Louisa Johnson, only reaching number 9 in the UK Top 40.
ITV’s procurement of The Voice UK rights from BBC One has also created further speculation over The X Factor’s future. The commercial broadcaster will begin airing The Voice from next year.
“The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent contracts 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.” – ITV statement released to the BBC
There are currently a number of changes at management level at ITV with the network’s director of television, Peter Fincham, being replaced by Kevin Lygo, who joins from ITV Studios. It’s also been reported that Ant and Dec could be leaving the broadcaster to join Amazon Prime. The popular presenting duo are thought to be ITV’s most valuable stars.