Amazon has signed up as the new sponsor of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off in what is seen as a major coup for the broadcaster.
The sponsorship includes the ninth series of Bake Off (it’s second season on Channel 4), which will air later in the year. It also includes spin-off shows Bake Off: An Extra Slice, festive episodes and Bake Off: The Professionals.
The deal will see Amazon focus on its Echo speakers and Alexa voice service. It was brokered by Channel 4’s sales house 4 Sales and Rufus, the dedicated Amazon team set up by media agency Initiative, which is part of IPG.
Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation at Channel 4, says: “It’s a great testimony to the success of Bake Off’s debut on Channel 4 last year that Amazon will sponsor the Bake Off programme brands this year. We’re looking forward to working with Amazon as we build towards the launch of one of the biggest TV events of the year.”
The new sponsorship is something of a coup for Channel 4, which was left disappointed after an expected bidding war failed to materialise as marketers raised concerns over whether Bake Off’s loyal audience would follow it from the BBC to its new home. Last year, Lyle’s golden syrup and Dr Oetker were joint sponsors of the show, each paying a rumoured £2m.
Channel 4 paid £75m to poach the show from the BBC but that decision has been vindicated by strong audience figures. While fewer people watch on Channel 4 than did on the BBC, Bake Off drew a consolidated audience of 9 million viewers and a 33.8% share of audience on average per episode, with this rising to 10.5 million with the addition of those who watched it via recordings or repeats.
The final attracted 11 million viewers altogether and 36.9% share of audience. It was also the biggest series for young audiences on any channel last year, averaging 2.6 million viewers in this age bracket.