The news comes after the hit show’s production company Love Productions revealed it was unable to reach a renewal agreement with the BBC after more than a year of negotiations. Channel 4 confirmed the news on Twitter:
Channel 4 has inked a three-year contract for the show, which stars much-loved UK bakers Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
According to a report in The Telegraph, Love Productions said in an email to staff that following a year of “exhaustive negotiations,” the show would leave the BBC after its seventh season after it failed to reach “a fair evaluation” and secure the “future protection” of the program going forward.
“We are writing to let you all know that, with deep regret, after more than a year of exhaustive negotiations we have been unable to reach an agreement with the BBC for the renewal of The Great British Bake Off,” began the email.
It added: “We are really saddened by this outcome because we always wanted to stay on the BBC. As recently as June we were convinced that was what would happen. This has never been about who might write the biggest cheque, but where we can find the best home for Bake Off. Unfortunately we were unable to agree either a fair valuation, and nor were the BBC able to provide the necessary comfort for the future protection of such a distinctive and much-loved television series.”
The lost contract will be a particular blow to the publicly restricted BBC, which is under pressure from the UK government to find £750M ($1B) in savings during the next few years under a new license-fee deal. BBC has housed the popular show for six years and it has been one of the channel’s biggest hits. Season 7 kicked off last month with a record 10.4M viewers in the 8 PM slot, drawing 47.5% share of the market.
In November, the BBC lost The Voice UK’s rights to rival broadcaster ITV.
Love Productions, which is 70% owned by Sky, declined to comment to Deadline on the matter while the BBC said in a statement: “Working with Love Productions, we have grown and nurtured the program over seven series and created the huge hit it is today. 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. GBBO is a quintessentially BBC program.”