Channel 4 is hoping The Great British Bake Off 2017 will attract at least 3million viewers – because that’s the number it needs to break even.
This week the UK’s most watched TV show moves to C4, which has reportedly signed a £75million deal to become its home for three years.
But while analysts are convinced the new Bake Off won’t match the ratings of its BBC heyday, C4’s bar doesn’t seem to be set too high.
This week, the broadcaster’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt revealed it will earn its money back with just 3million viewers.
“If it gets, five, six, seven [million] then I’ll be absolutely delighted,” she said at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
“I think we’ve been very clear, this show is breaking even for Channel 4 at around three million. Anything north of that would be fantastic.”
The launch of last year’s final BBC run had an overnight average of 10.4million viewers. Therefore, that number would need to fall by over 71% for the new series’ opener to be a disaster.
However, C4 will be airing Bake Off on Tuesdays at 8pm – a timeslot which typically averages just one million viewers.
Hunt’s comments also came after returning judge Paul Hollywood said producers would be concerned if the figures fall below 8million.
Fortunately, the early signs are positive, with critics giving unanimous praise to the first episode after attending a press screening.
Speaking about the good feedback, Hunt added: “Is it a dream outcome to see it getting good reviews? Yes, absolutely it is.
“To see a piece in The Telegraph last night saying ‘5 reasons why it’s better than the show was on the BBC’ is a pretty extraordinary place to have got to.
“I’m thrilled its landed creatively as well as it has, now we’ll see what it does in terms of performance.”
Bake Off returns on Tuesday at 8.00pm, with new judge Prue Leith and hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.