The X Factor is a British reality television music competition to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began in 2004 and has since aired annually from August/September until December. The show is produced by FremantleMedia's Thames (previously Talkback Thames) and Cowell's production company SycoTV. It is broadcast on the ITV network in the United Kingdom and simulcast on TV3 in the Republic of Ireland. The "X Factor" refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality.