Simon Cowell’s talent show, the X Factor is again failing to live up to its hype on Fox.
It has pulled in an average 12.2 million viewers since its new season premiere a month ago. This is far below the 20 million that Cowell said the show would need in order to avoid being a “disappointment.”
Meanwhile, in its 10th season, rival American Idol is drawing twice as many viewers - 25.2 million - on average.
As a result of the X Factor numbers, says the Wall Street Journal, the network has been forced to lower ad prices and compensate current advertisers. i PepsiCo, X Factor’s biggest sponsor, is getting extra time on the show.
‘Upfront’ pricing, averaged $400,000 for a 30-second X-factor spot, but according to media buyers the network is now selling spots for as low as $280,000.
Still, according to the WSJ, X Factor has helped Fox to revive its weak autumn lineup, boosting Thursday night viewersby 59 percent and helping the network to win the night among 18-to-49-year-olds for the first time ever.
“Right now—and I'm not just saying this—we are thrilled with the numbers,” Mike Darnell, Fox's president of alternative entertainment, told the WSJ. If X Factor continues to draw its current numbers, he said, “I would be perfectly happy, and the show would become a staple of the network.”