Love Productions have this evening announced that Channel 4 have acquired the rights to the Great British Bake Off. The acquisition is reported to have cost around £20m.
Following the shock news earlier that the programme would no longer be broadcast on the BBC, Love Productions have this evening announced a new collaboration with Channel 4, to ensure the programme continues to air on Freeview television. It had been expected that either ITV or Sky would acquire Great British Bake Off, with the latter also holding a 70% stake in Love Productions.
On the acquisition, Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Creative Officer said: “I’m delighted we have been able to partner with the hugely talented team at Love Productions to keep this much-loved show on free-to-air television.” On the other hand, the BBC released the following statement after losing the programme to their rivals: “We made a very strong offer to keep the show, but we are a considerable distance apart on the money. The BBC’s resources are not infinite.”
One major question that will be raised by the move to Channel 4 is the future of judging team Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and presenting team Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. Mary and Paul in particular have been very vocal about keeping the show on the BBC, whereas Mel and Sue both also have strong ties to the BBC. Most notably, it appears none of these key players were consulted during negotiations with either broadcaster.
The final BBC series of Great British Bake Off airs Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC One. Watch the trailer for the series below: