New X Factor NZ bags $800k taxpayer funding

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 15:23 04/08/2014
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ANOTHER ROUND: It is not known yet, if any of the judges of the last season -- Daniel Bedingfield, Ruby Frost, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt -- will return to next year's X Factor.

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The glitz, glamour, music and dramatic pauses of The X Factor New Zealand will return to local screens next year.

NZ on Air announced today it would provide funding of up to $800,000 for 32 episodes of a new season.

A NZ on Air spokeswoman confirmed this would be the last season it would assist with funding the X Factor New Zealand.

"It was the same arrangement NZ on Air had with NZ's Got Talent (which screened on TV1), so we think we're being fair to both networks".

She said the X Factor NZ qualified for funding under NZ On Air's Arts, Culture and Performance strand."The format gives a host of new and emerging talent a national audience. These are massive undertakings. Broadcasters can not recoup enough advertising revenue from the show to cover the cost of production without NZ On Air's minority investment."

The X Factor NZ's first season received $1.6 million in NZ on Air funding

A MediaWorks spokesman said auditions for the new season would take place this year.

It has not yet been confirmed whether any of last season's judges (Melanie Blatt, Daniel Bedingfield, Ruby Frost and Stan Walker) will return for the new season.

MediaWorks TV programming director Mark Caulton said it was fantastic to bring X Factor NZ back to TV3.

"The first series was a huge success, and Jackie a deserving winner," Caulton said. "It's also rewarding to see the ongoing success of other contestants like Benny Tipene. The X Factor was the biggest pop-culture show of 2013 and with the next season we can expect it to be bigger and better."

In 2013, Sony Music signed the top four The X Factor NZ contestants, Thomas, Whenua Patuwai, Tipene and Moorhouse. Thomas won the grand-final decider, which was watched by a cumulative audience of 1,326,000 on July 22.

An estimated 553,976 votes were cast to decide the winner.

The season's three finalists - Thomas, Tipene and Patuwai - also held the top three positions on the NZTop 40 the week immediately after the final. It was the first time the X Factor format had produced the top three singles in anywhere in the world.

Sony Music New Zealand managing director Kim Boshier said the format, launched by Simon Cowell's production company in the UK in 2004, was "not only an extraordinary TV show but also an incredible format for discovering new talent".

The X Factor NZ is a SYCO-owned format, and will be co-produced by MediaWorks and FremantleMedia Australia.
NZ on Air is a minority funder of the show.

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NZ On Air has also announced $165,000 in funding towards the staging of the Vodafone NZ Music Awards, which will screen live on FOUR this year.

- Stuff

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