According to a statement from the BBC, the show was "poached by another broadcaster", which quickly emerged to be ITV. The fifth series of the flagship Saturday night show will run on BBC1 in January.
The full statement, from Mark Linsey, BBC acting director of television, reads: “We always said we wouldn’t get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show, and it’s testament to how the BBC has built the programme up – and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule – that another broadcaster has poached it.”
Despite new judges and a revamped media presence, The X Factor’s viewing ratings have dwindled significantly. Last Sunday, more people watched Antiques Roadshow than Simon Cowell’s once popular talent contest.
Rumours are predominantly pointing towards Sky acquiring The X Factor if it does leave ITV.
According to The Guardian, a BBC source told them how “ITV offered more money for the show and that it was not in the interests of licence fee payers for the corporation to try to outbid it”.
Four years ago, ITV lost out to the BBC in a bidding war for the originally Dutch TV show, spending £20 million. The bid was criticised by culture secretary, John Whittingdale, who questioned whether the show was "distinctive" compared to shows aired by commercial competitors.
Creator of the show, John de Mol, who is responsible for the popular show Big Brother, owns the production company Talpa, which was bought by ITV for £355m earlier this year.
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