Seven and Nine will compete with each other to obtain the rights to produce an Australian version of The X Factor, after expressing interest by attending a conference organised by the show's creator Simon Cowell.
The Daily Telegraph reports today that Nine's director of production and development Andrew Backwell and Seven's head of programming Tim Worner went to the conference last week. The report quotes a source who said that Cowell wanted an Australian version to match his own specifications.
"He said that any other version would have to match his production values and his uncompromising vision, which would cost at least $20 million for 21 hours of television.
"Seven made a very aggressive play for it and Channel 9 was very interested but were more conscious of the cheque they would have to write - but one way or another, expect it to be on air around February next year."
The X Factor began in the UK in 2004, and the format has since been adapted in numerous countries around the world. Fremantle Media - which owns the distribution rights for the show in Australia - produced one Australian series for the Ten Network in 2005, but the series rated poorly and was not renewed.
Media Spy discussion: The X Factor