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U.K.’s ITV Poaches Singing Competition Show ‘The Voice’ From BBC

LONDON — Broadcaster ITV has confirmed that it has grabbed the U.K. format rights to singing competition format “The Voice,” which until now has aired on rival network the BBC.

The U.K.’s leading commercial broadcaster said Monday that it had signed a three-year deal for “The Voice” with the format’s owner Talpa Global, together with a three-season commitment for a spin-off show. ITV has also signed a two-season contract for “The Voice Kids.” The show will arrive on ITV in 2017. The fifth and last season of the BBC version of the show starts in January.

Peter Fincham, director of television at ITV, said: “ITV is the natural home of big entertainment so we are thrilled that ‘The Voice’ and ‘The Voice Kids’ are both joining our family alongside brilliant shows like ‘The X Factor,’ ‘Britain’s Got Talent,’ ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ and ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.'”

Earlier this month, Mark Linsey, acting director of BBC Television, revealed that the BBC would be losing “The Voice.” “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 program up — and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule — that another broadcaster has poached it,” he said.

Two factors may have influenced the decision: first, ITV bought Talpa in March; second, the BBC is negotiating a new deal with the U.K. government, which has been critical of the BBC’s purchase of expensive foreign formats, with “The Voice” being held up most often as an example.

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