BBC is not done fighting when it comes to losing The Great British Bakeoff. Part of the original contract for the show allowed the network to enforce a 12 month air ban if they left BBC, meaning that the earliest Channel 4 could air the revamped program would be in late 2017. With the final episode airing last month, this puts Channel 4 in a pretty bad position.
Now Channel 4 along with Love Productions are taking action to get rid of the ban so they can air the show as soon as possible. The legality of the entire situation is still a bit fuzzy, but there is no doubt bad blood fueling the enforcement of the ban, as BBC is still sour about losing the show. There is another part to the story that is being missed, and that is the launch of Mary Berry’s new program Mary Berry Everyday.
The new show is set to launch in spring, so if The Great British Bakeoff is still banned then it will easily be the #1 new cooking show in Britain. Such a huge head start could make things harder on The Great British Bakeoff when it returns in late 2017, possibly leading to the show premiering to lower than expected ratings. But this is all assuming the language of the original contract that enforces this ban, and if it will even hold up in court.
There is a good chance that they won’t even be able to start production on a new Bake Off series for 12 months, and that would be catastrophic! Things are really looking back for Channel 4, and it looks like they bought a lemon farm. It will all come down to how much of the original contract has to be honored.
Will this destroy the series? What are the chances the ban will hold up in court?