Great British Bake Off could move to Netflix in show shake up

Bake Off judges and hosts Paul, Prue, Alison and Noel
Paul, Prue, Alison and Noel

The future of The Great British Bake Off reportedly hangs in the balance as Channel 4 faces significant financial challenges.

The current contract with Channel 4, which allows the broadcaster to air the show, is set to conclude after this year’s series. However, negotiations for its renewal have not yet completed.

Channel 4 is reportedly planning to slash up to 200 jobs and has already cancelled several shows, a decision driven by a substantial decline in TV advertising revenue. This precarious financial situation has fuelled speculations about potential takeovers by rival broadcasters and streaming platforms.

The Great British Bake Off judges and hosts

“Bosses have a dilemma — break the bank to keep Bake Off, or lose it to a rival,” a source told The Sun. “It’s no secret that Channel 4 is facing cash problems so do they really have the money to secure another deal?”

The insider added: “They’ve been making cutbacks and this could well be to fund a new deal. But if they can’t match the pay demands, there’s not much they can do, and that opens the door for rivals like ITV and Netflix to swoop in.”

Netflix already airs the British version of the show outside of the UK, where for legal reasons it is known as the Great British Baking Show.

The Great British Bake Off, featuring stars like Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, and Alison Hammond, first aired on the BBC in 2010. Channel 4 successfully bid £25 million to acquire the show in 2016.

ITV had previously considered bidding for the British rights in the last negotiation phase but ultimately chose not to because original stars Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc and Mary Berry were not signed up.

A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: “Any speculation around contracts is just that and we look forward to bringing many more soggy bottoms to our viewers in future.”

The most series of The Great British Bake Off concluded in November. The show is expected to return in the spring with celebrity specials.