The Voice UK‘s next season on the BBC will be its last because it’s been “poached by another broadcaster,” the network reported. The BBC, which has been under pressure to trim its costs, “wouldn’t get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show,” said acting director of BBC TV Mark Linsey. Season 5 begins in January.
“The BBC is incredibly proud of The Voice,” according to Linsey’s statement, but “we always said we wouldn’t get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show, and it’s testament to how the BBC has built the programme up – and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule – that another broadcaster has poached it.”
It’s widely rumored that ITV is the broadcaster in question, but ITV hasn’t responded to a query by Deadline. Talpa and Wall to Wall have been producing the show for BBC, and ITV acquired Talpa earlier this year.
The government noted that The Voice is “similar to ITV’s X Factor” and Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has questioned whether such commercial shows are “distinctive” enough to merit scheduling on the BBC.