There’s always winners and losers in BBC’s The Great British Bake Off, but this year the biggest loser may end up being BBC themselves as they lose the rights to broadcast the show after the currently airing season.
Love Productions, the production company behind Bake Off, confirmed they were unable to reach an agreement with the BBC, where they would have liked to stay, and have had to move on to provide the best home for their show. Love Productions made a statement, where they added the following:
After an extraordinary six-year journey with the BBC, Love Productions announces with regret that it has been unable to reach agreement on terms to renew the commission of The Great British Bake Off. We will now be focusing on finding a new partner to develop the familiar show that the British public turn to in their millions. Love Productions would like to thank the BBC for the role it played in making this show such an enormous hit, and the faith they showed in us over the years to develop it.
The issue appears to have been not only financial, but also the development of the Bake Off brand. Negotiations have apparently gone on for a year before only recently breaking down. ITV are looking like the current favourite successors to BBC to air Bake Off, with Love Productions apparently keen to remain on a free to air TV channel.
The Great British Bake Off has become a phenomenon, with the show being moved from BBC Two to BBC One in its fifth series after it became the most popular show on the former channel. An average of 10.4 million viewers watched the first episode of the latest series. The move from BBC is likely to be a big hit for the channel, who are currently also dealing with their suffering Top Gear brand following the removal of the original cast and backlash and controversy over new host Chris Evans.
The Great British Bake Off will continue to air on BBC One every Wednesday for the remainder of the series.