Big Brother is staying put on Channel 5.
The Viacom owned broadcaster has extended its deal with Endemol Shine International for the reality format for a further three years, through 2018. Under said agreement, Channel 5 will continue to broadcast two seasons of Celebrity Big Brother and one season of Big Brother each year – all of which will be produced by Endemol Shine UK’s indie Initial.
C5’s deal extension with Endemol Shine comes after the better part of nine months of uncertainty about the future of Big Brother on the FTA channel. Channel 5’s previous deal expired this year and rumours had been circulating that a rival broadcaster such as ITV might swoop for the rights. That threat, however, come to nothing following Viacom’s acquisition of Channel 5, as no rival had the determination to poach the series, which is understood to have cost C5 close to £25 million.
Big Brother is an important title for Channel 5, being one of their few series which continues to rate extremely well, The most recent season of Celebrity Big Brother aired earlier this year to an average audience of 3.1 million viewers. Repeat episode were also shown on Viacom’s MTV UK, boosting that channel’s ratings by around 20%. Viacom said that some 21 million viewers watched at least one episode of the series across their portfolio of channels.
“Big Brother in all its guises brings a huge and varied cross section of viewers to Channel 5 and typifies the appointment-to-view programming we want on the channel”, said Channel 5’s COO Paul Dunthorpe, who brokered the deal extenstion. “It remains one of TV’s most talked about and popular programmes and I’m genuinely delighted we’ve secured it for at least three more years.”
“Channel 5 is a fantastic home for Big Brother. Over the past four years we’ve worked closely together to keep this extraordinary format feeling fresh, noisy, and creatively vibrant”, added Nick Samwell-Smith, Managing Director of Initial. “I’m thrilled that this landmark deal means we can look forward to three more years of big characters and juicy storylines from inside our favourite house.”