2014

Sony Music Entertainment and Simon Cowell Launch New Global Venture: 'Syco'

LONDON and NEW YORK, January 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment today announced the creation of a new long-term global venture to focus on the production and exploitation of music, television, film and digital content.

The new venture will own all of the existing Syco television and music assets, which include the global TV franchises "The X Factor" and "Got Talent", as well as superstar artists such as Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Il Divo. The new venture, which will continue to use the "Syco" name, will be co-owned by Sony Music and a Simon Cowell-owned company. Syco will be based in London and will also have offices in Los Angeles.

As the first project under the new Syco banner, Fox Television announced (on January 11th) that it will launch the U.S. version of the worldwide hit TV show, "The X Factor", in the fall of 2011. Cowell will serve as both executive producer and judge on the U.S. version of the show.

"The X Factor" is a Syco-owned television format, which currently airs in 17 countries and has been the #1 UK entertainment show for the last three years, reaching record UK audiences in 2009 of 20 million with 60% audience share. "The X Factor" is the No.1 music- entertainment format in Europe.

In addition to "The X Factor", Syco is also the owner of the "Got Talent" TV format which currently airs in 27 countries and is the UK's most successful TV format export. In 2009, "Britain's Got Talent" launched the global music career of Susan Boyle, whose debut album, "I Dreamed A Dream", sold over 8 million albums in six weeks, making it the world's biggest selling album of 2009 and the fastest selling album in history.

Syco is also the record label home for such diverse international recording stars as Leona Lewis and Il Divo. Cowell has worked with artists selling more than 180 million albums and delivered more than 150 No.1 records. In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter's Top 50 Most Powerful in Reality TV and one of Entertainment Weekly's Top Entertainers of the Year.

"I have had a fantastic relationship with Sony for many years and I'm delighted we are launching this venture together," Cowell said.

"Over the past 20 years, Simon Cowell has been a great partner and is an integral part of the Sony Music global family. We are extremely excited to be able to continue and further develop our relationship with Simon, and significantly grow the Syco venture," said Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment.

"Simon Cowell is one of the most prominent and successful creative music and television executives in the entertainment business today. This new venture will allow Sony Music and all Sony divisions to develop and pursue a host of new opportunities with this supremely talented individual," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation.

"I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to extend our long and mutually beneficial partnership with Simon. He is an inspiring and stimulating business partner and working with him closely over the last 10 years has been an absolute pleasure. With the launch of "The X Factor" in the US, we look forward to replicating the unprecedented success the show has had in the UK globally," said Ged Doherty, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music Entertainment UK.

    NOTES TO EDITORS:

    - "Syco" with offices in London and Los Angeles, is a global music,
      television, film and digital production and exploitation joint venture
      between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment.

    - Prior to the creation of the new Syco venture, Syco was the name used
      for Cowell's music and television activities within Sony Music
      Entertainment UK. Syco currently employs a staff of 28.

    - Sir Philip Green will be an advisor to Simon Cowell and a shareholder
      in the company, majority owned and controlled by Cowell, which will
      serve as the partner with Sony Music in the new Syco.

    - Syco Television, produces the BAFTA Award-winning "The X Factor" which
      airs in 17 countries and has topped the charts in Europe and in the
      U.K, where Cowell continues to serve as both executive producer and
      judge. "The X Factor" 2009 reached UK audiences of 20 million (60%
      audience share), and in Denmark, the audience share reached a record
      high of 80%.

    - Syco Television is also the owner of the "Got Talent" television format
      which airs in 27 countries worldwide.

    - Cowell also executive produces "America's Got Talent" and judges and
      produces "Britain's Got Talent.

    - In late 2009, Syco Music's Susan Boyle became the biggest selling
      artist in the world, when her debut album "I Dreamed a Dream" sold
      over 8 Million albums in just 6 weeks, making it the fastest selling
      album in history. To date it has reached No.1 in the album charts in
      21 countries.

    - Cowell has worked with artists selling more than 180 million albums and
      more than 150 No.1 records.

    - In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter's Top 50 Most
      Powerful in Reality TV and one of Entertainment Weekly's Top
      Entertainers of the Year.

Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including American Recordings, Arista Nashville, Arista Records, Aware, Battery Records, Beach Street Records, Black Seal, BNA Records, Cinematic, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, Fo-Yo Soul, GospoCentric, Hitz Committee Entertainment, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, Masterworks, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, RCA Red Seal, RCA Victor, Reunion Records, Slightly Dangerous, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Verity Records, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

    Media Contact:

    Sony Music Entertainment
    Liz Young

    Simon Cowell / Syco
    Ann-Marie Thomson
    Head of Media, Syco
    ann-marie.thomson@sonymusic.com

    Sony Music UK
    Paul Bursche
    paul.bursche@sonymusic.com

SOURCE Sony Music Entertainment




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