$5 million contract for X Factor called “largest guaranteed prize in television history”

Fox’s fall singing competition The X Factor will award its winner a $5 million record deal with Simon Cowell and Sony Music’s Syco, a prize Fox calls “the largest guaranteed prize in television history.”

NBC’s Treasure Hunters gave away $3 million, but it was $1 million per person and also given as an annuity, which is how America’s Got Talent avoids giving away $1 million in cash. And Rob Mariano’s Tontine promised a $10 million prize, but that ended in a fake bloody massacre.

Fox is pushing X Factor hard, starting with two great ads that aired during the Super Bowl and Glee last night, and continuing this afternoon with a conference call with Simon Cowell, who will likely announce that Cheryl Cole is joining the series as a judge.

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