Channel 4 is reportedly already in talks to extend its contract for The Great British Bake Off – so rivals don’t swoop in to steal the show.
C4 is only one year in to its current three-year deal with format creator Love Productions.
However, the broadcaster is apparently acting quickly to tighten its grip on Bake Off after it proved a ratings smash.
Last year’s grand final was watched by a consolidated 10.04 million viewers, making it C4’s sixth most-watched broadcast ever.
The Sun says bosses want to prevent the franchise returning to the BBC, or being poached by ITV or Netflix.
“The ink on Channel 4’s Bake Off deal has barely dried, but they’re not taking any chances of losing it like the BBC did,” an insider said.
“After airing just one of the three series agreed in 2016, securing its future has been a top priority.
“By comparison, the BBC were still negotiating with Love while the third and final series of their last Bake Off deal was on TV.”
The insider added: “Channel 4 had to fight off ITV and Netflix to land the show.
“They would be salivating at the thought of Bake Off being back up for grabs.”
Indeed, Netflix recently announced its own baking competition, Sugar Rush, which is due to premiere next month.
C4 is thought to pay £25million a year for the main Bake Off, plus spin-offs with celebrity and professional contestants.
According to the newspaper, Love is delighted with C4’s commitment, and has opted not to increase the price tag.
The network has not confirmed whether renegotiations are indeed taking place.
However, a spokesperson did say: “We’re delighted with the success of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 and the fantastic creative partnership we have with Love Productions.”
Bake Off: The Professionals is currently airing on Sundays at 8.00pm. The next regular series is likely to begin in mid-August.
Amazon recently became the show’s sponsor in a lucrative deal, thought to be worth £5million.