And his new business partner, Topshop mogul Sir Philip Green, is negotiating the agreement. Cowell, 49, is seen vital to the survival of the ailing American network, which makes 450million pounds a year from advertising on the hit talent show. The network signed up American Idol"s cheesy host Ryan Seacrest for a three-year deal worth 30million pounds and is now closing in on Cowell.
"The word went out from on high to pay Simon what he needs," the Mirror quoted a Fox insider as saying. The source added: "Without him the show would be a shadow of itself. And without American Idol we"re in the dumper."
Cowell will also soon be in renewal talks over his ITV contract, which is likely to be less than his current 20million pounds deal over three years.