Sky Italia doubles up X Factor
X Factor may be fading in the UK but Sky Italia has announced a live double season finale. For the first time ever, the last phase of the competition will take place during two primetime live shows, which will air on Thursday December 6 and Friday December 7 on Sky’s entertainment channel Sky Uno HD.
This series – Sky’s second and the sixth overall in Italy – has broken pay television records for viewing figures and audience participation.
Since May 2011, when Sky Italia become the first ever pay television provider to acquire the exclusive rights to the X Factor format, the channel has reinvigorated the show. The new strategy has transformed X Factor into a must-see event, achieving record ratings for pay TV and earning unanimous acclaim from the Italian press, who have dubbed it “the most successful TV show of the year”.
Following four series of the X Factor on state owned broadcaster RAI, Sky’s version took a fresh new approach. A new studio, cast, programming strategy (daily strips, live Ante and Xtra Factor), and voting system were all introduced, while the casting process began months earlier and this year totalled more than 60,000 auditions around Italy.
Sky also invested heavily in the show’s communication strategy – focusing on digital and online activity has been a major success, with X Factor now by far the number one television brand in Italy on all leading digital platforms and social networks.