The three-year contract between ITV, Cowell’s shingle Syco and co-producer Fremantle for his talent shows “X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent,” are set to expire at the end of the year.
But according to a report in The Guardian, ITV is eager to sign contracts for both programs but wants Cowell to agree to return to judge in order to help boost ratings for “X Factor” in the U.K.
Cowell, who stopped judging the show in 2010 to focus on building “X Factor USA,” still judges for “Britain’s Got Talent, which continues to draw in strong ratings for the channel.
However, the 10 year-old “X Factor,” has seen ratings slowly decline and last year’s finale brought in its lowest audience since 2006.
ITV chiefs are said to be aware that Cowell’s presence on the show could be key to boosting the show’s ratings.
Cowell’s PR spokesman Max Clifford told The Guardian: “Obviously, everybody to do with the show wants Simon because he gives it an extra quality, we understand that, but with his commitments over there [in the U.S.] he simply can’t be in two places at once.”
If ITV fails to guarantee Cowell’s appearance in the show, it could look to offer reduced terms such as a two-year contract, the report said.