Before Bake-Off... Eight other shows BBC lost to rivals

Bake-Off's Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry
Bake-Off's Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

The Great British Bake Off is not the first show to find a new home after success on the BBC.

• The Voice

ITV announced in November last year that it had acquired the talent show for three years from 2017. The fifth series of the show, the last on BBC, was won by former Liberty X singer Kevin Simm. Before the announcement that the show was moving to ITV, Mark Linsey, acting director of BBC Television, said the broadcaster “wouldn’t get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show”. Director general of the BBC, Lord Hall, said he was “sad” about the show’s move.

• Dallas

One of the biggest political storms in TV history was unleashed when in the early Eighties, the world’s most popular prime-time soap was poached from under the corporation’s nose by Thames Television on behalf of ITV. Thames offered to pay the show’s US producer Lorimar far more than the BBC could afford - but there had been little negotiation anyway - it was a largely secret deal that caught the BBC unaware. However, it emerged that Thames did not have the support of the other ITV companies or the regulator to break what was still considered a “gentlemen’s agreement”, and the programme was handed back to BBC1.

• Match Of The Day

Michael Grade, then running London Weekend Television, pulled off an audacious coup in 1978 by attempting to acquire exclusive screening rights to Football League matches, in what was termed ‘Snatch of the Day’ by the press. The government’s Office of Fair Trading intervened, and LWT’s deal was torn up, but the BBC would never again enjoy such unchallenged coverage. A compromise saw the package of recorded highlights on Saturday evenings alternating each season between ITV and the BBC.

• Formula One

Channel Four acquired the broadcasting rights previously held by the BBC for Formula One. The BBC’s shared broadcasting deal with Sky Sports was due to expire in 2018, but the corporation called time on the deal early. The BBC announced beforehand that £35 million would saved from the BBC’s TV sports rights budget in a bid to save £150 million to address a shortfall in funding.

• Don’t Tell The Bride

The reality show - following a couple in the run-up to their wedding, with the groom planning all aspects of the event - was one of the best known shows on BBC Three, and was also broadcast on BBC One. Late last year, Sky announced it would be airing a new season of the bridal programme on Sky 1. News of the move came just days after it was announced that BBC Three was moving online.

• The Open

Last September it was announced that the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon would be televised by Sky Sports after the BBC ended its deal a year early. It was confirmed in February 2015 that Sky Sports had been awarded exclusive rights to live television coverage in a five-year deal from 2017, with the BBC offering two-hour daily highlights and live coverage on radio and online. But Sky stepped in to cover the 2016 event as well after the BBC asked to be released from its contract.

• Family Guy

The hit US comedy was poached by ITV2, having been broadcast in the UK on BBC Three. Seth MacFarlane created the Emmy award-winning series and also voices dog Brian, dad Peter and one-year-old Stewie in the show. In March 2015, it was announced that the 15th series of Family Guy would be shown in the UK on ITV2.

• Racing

The BBC lost the rights to show all terrestrial racing - including Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby. The Grand National, seen as a “crown jewel” event, was last broadcast by the BBC in 2012. Channel 4 secured a four-year deal to broadcast the Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot from 2013.