The BBC's 'final' offer for two more years of The Voice UK is reportedly worth £22million - and the broadcaster is confident that it will keep the show.
Yesterday, The Mirror reported that the Beeb was planning to axe the talent contest, which has becoming something of a political liability - but just hours later it was revealed that talks had begun for a two-year renewal.
The Sun now suggests that the bosses have tabled a final offer worth £22million - £11million per year, in line with the current arrangement.
A source said that they aren't willing to pay any more - but are 'quietly confident' of sealing the deal, despite interest from arch rival ITV.
"This whole situation is ridiculously complicated," the mole commented. "The BBC have made a bid, which they won’t raise, but it is unclear as to who will make the final decision. If it’s ITV, they may be some way off sealing the deal."
An official BBC statement confirmed: "We are in discussions about The Voice's future, but we won't get into a bidding war."
The next series of The Voice - due to begin in January - is the last guaranteed by the current contract.
Industry magazine Broadcast says that the BBC has first refusal on future series - but ITV may have the upper hand, as its production arm ITV Studios acquired the format's creators Talpa Media earlier this year.
The Voice has come under scrutiny from the Government recently, with culture secretary John Whittingdale suggesting that it is too similar to ITV's The X Factor and that the BBC should focus on developing its own entertainment shows.
However, it is one of BBC One's highest rating shows, with the last series averaging almost 8.6million viewers - while recent major in-house formats such as Tumble have sunk without trace.