Cowell ups the ante for 'X Factor' winner

August 5, 2011 - 3:00 PM

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) โ€” The top finisher on Fox TV's new "The X Factor" will win very big.

Besides a recording contract, the winning singer or singers will receive a $5 million cash prize and be featured in a Super Bowl commercial for Pepsi. That's the word from "X Factor" creator Simon Cowell, who spoke to TV reporters Friday by satellite from England.

Previously, Fox had announced the prize was a $5 million record contract. But Cowell said there will be a cash payment as well as recording expenses provided.

Cowell, the former "American Idol" judge, is bringing his U.K.-born show to Fox this fall. Unlike "Idol," the contest is open to solo singers and groups, and has no upper age limit. Like "Idol," Cowell will be joined by Paula Abdul as a judge.