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GM Thought of the Week: TV Advertising – The Great British Turn Off?

The quintessentially British phenomenon that Is the Great British Bake Off returned to our screens last night, and as expected Channel 4 have been outwardly enthused by the viewing figures. According to BARB data, an average audience of c.6.5m individuals (c.30% share), with a peak audience of c.7.7m individuals (c.35% share) represents Channel 4’s greatest ratings success since the 2012 Paralympic’s opening ceremony.


However, the show regularly topped 10m individuals when it broadcast on the BBC. A decline is of course to be expected, but 35% is significant and the issue of advertising has been discussed as one of the contributing factors (not just the loss of Mel & Sue). A quick scan of some selected Tweets demonstrate the varying degrees of rage viewers felt towards the subject, ranging from Dan Wootton’s “#GBBO‘s first episode on Channel 4 rose to the occasion…until the adverts began” to some rather more expletive laden examples.


But do Channel 4 care? At a reported cost of £95,000 per 30” spot, and a total of 17 minutes of advertising, it’s estimated that in TV spot advertising revenue alone the show will generate c.£3m per episode. With 10 episodes, various spin offs and the lucrative dual sponsorship agreements with Lyle and Dr Oetker (not to mention VOD advertising), it’s clear that the show will repay much more than the £75m Channel 4 paid to acquire it from the BBC. As long, of course, as the audience holds up and the adverts don’t convince people to tune out.


Jonathan Chambers, Director & Head of AV Investment