NZ on Air is backing a New Zealand version of talent quest show The X Factor, which has been confirmed to air on TV3 in 2013.

It is committing $1.6 million of funding towards 30 one-hour episodes of the show, set to air in the new year.

"We are thrilled that variety series New Zealand's Got Talent has premiered to a huge audience this year, and we wish the same success for The X Factor NZ in 2013," said NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson.

"These programmes celebrating this country's talent are very expensive to produce and we are pleased to help get them over the line. NZ On Air is only able to fund one of these series in a single financial year, so the timing has worked out well.


"Not only does it provide arts entertainment for audiences in prime time, but it also helps to find new music talent. Both are important to us," she said.

Anyone aged over 14 is eligible to enter the show, and co-executive producer Andrew Szusterman said it would have a distinct New Zealand tinge.

"The X Factor NZ combines the best talent show format with an intensely local flavour," he said in a statement. "We're confident that we can bring the biggest music entertainment programme to New Zealand screens."

The second season of the US version of The X Factor, a Simon Cowell creation that began in the UK in 2004, began screening on TV3 last night. A second episode airs tonight.

The winner of The X Factor NZ will be signed to Sony. Winners of overseas series include include Leona Lewis, Reece Mastin and One Direction.