The Voice's future still undecided as BBC rules out 'a bidding war'
Published 14/10/2015 | 00:06
The BBC will not enter into "a bidding war" for singing talent series The Voice.
Following speculation and headlines concerning prospects for the popular show, a BBC statement said: "It is incorrect to say the BBC has axed The Voice. We are in discussions about its future, but we won't get into a bidding war."
A BBC source added: "We have made a final bid that we won't increase. We love the show but we won't pay inflated prices to keep hold of it. We have made a final two-year bid, and now it is out of our hands."
In the UK, The Voice is produced by Wall to Wall, alongside Talpa Media, the Dutch-based production company behind the format. The series was created by John de Mol.
However, ITV acquired Talpa Media in a deal with a pproximately £355 million.
The BBC source continued: "There seems to be some confusion as to who out of the three will decide, which is why some earlier reports have been conflicting."
This statement follows suggestions the BBC were not looking to renew the show's contract over its £55 million cost.
The Voice is currently filming with an all-new panel featuring Paloma Faith, Will.i.am, Boy George and Ricky Wilson, with former coach Rita Ora having moved to ITV's The X Factor.
The BBC's director of television, Danny Cohen, recently spoke out following the departure of singer and coach Sir Tom Jones from The Voice.
Mr Cohen said he was "sorry" that Sir Tom was "upset" after the Welsh singer recently hit out at what he called "sub-standard behaviour" from "the executives" following his departure from the show.
He told fans he had only been informed 24 hours before the new coaches were announced that he would not be returning.
Mr Cohen said: "I've got huge respect for Tom and I'm truly sorry he's upset. I'm really sorry because I am a big fan of his. I think he's a gentleman and an extraordinary figure in music."
He said he would definitely like to see Sir Tom back on the BBC "doing something else".
The BBC has previously launched a defence of popular programming like The Voice and The Great British Bake Off, saying that licence fee payers expect the BBC to "deliver entertainment".
In "an evidence-based response" to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's green paper on its future, the corporation hit back at whether it should have a more "precisely targeted" mission in terms of its output.
This week, Rona Fairhead - chairman of the BBC Trust which governs the corporation - told the Lords' Communications Committee that the BBC should provide a "universal service" that broadly serves the UK rather than striving to do "everything for everybody".
Ms Fairhead said consultations with the public demonstrated the need for value for money, and that the licence fee model was deemed the best way to achieve this, rather than through corporate advertising and direct government funding.
She said previous input from the public resulted in a focus on "distinctive drama" on BBC One, citing the television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's historical drama Wolf Hall as an example of high-quality output.