Channel 4 is seeking to recoup some of the £75m it splurged on wresting control of The Great British Bake Off from the BBC over the next three years by inviting 350 advertising executives to compete against each other to secure the sponsorship rights.
A floor price of £8m has been set for the trophy placing with expectations that the final price could surpass TalkTalk’s record breaking £10m sponsorship package for ITV’s X Factor.
Advertisers are queuing up to be associated with the hit format with Channel 4 set to cash in to the tune of £25m a year from what has become a surprise television hit, with more than 14m people tuning into last season’s final on the BBC – half the viewing public at that time.
The new look format will launch in the autumn with only Paul Hollywood making the cross-channel transition. He will be joined by Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith to round out the new presenting line-up.
Industry watchers believe Channel 4 will never be able to match the BBC audience numbers but are confident it can break even on its investment with an average of 3m viewers for the main show. Excluding spin-off shows such as Extra Slice.
Jonathan Allan, the sales director at Channel 4, said: “We’ve been inundated with interest from advertisers keen to get involved with the biggest show on TV. We’re looking forward to working with an exclusive sponsor and a whole host of brands to get creative with their communications around the show to entertain and delight Bake Off viewers.”
In separate news, insurance provider Petplan has been named as sponsor of Channel 4’s latest prime-time stream, Pets on 4.