'Great British Bake Off' only needs three million viewers to "break even", according to a Channel 4 boss.
The popular baking competition is due to make its debut with the broadcaster when the new series starts next week after moving from its original home with the BBC, and although last year's final was watched by a staggering 14.8 million people, Channel 4 boss Jay Hunt believes three million is a big enough figure to keep the broadcaster bosses happy.
She said: "If it gets five, six or seven million viewers then I will be absolutely delighted. We've been very clear that this show can break even at Channel 4 at about three million."
And Jay insists Channel 4 didn't "poach" the show from the BBC, as Love Productions - who make the programme - had "reached an impasse" with the network and were actively looking for other options.
She added to The Sun newspaper: "This language of nabbing and poaching is critical, it was widely reported that Love and BBC had reached an impasse -- they couldn't make 'Bake Off' anymore. The scenario was very stark. 'Bake Off' no longer had a home. At that point all and sundry were interested in making the biggest show in television. So it was a legitimate conversation to be having.
"It's a big show that Love Productions were no longer prepared to make for the BBC after a previously acrimonious relationship and I'm really excited about it launching.
"We were buying a strong show, its format travels well, at that point it was clear we were going to need to reinvent it."
However, Jay's low expectations for viewing figures contrasts comments made by show judge Paul Hollywood - who is the only member of the original cast who is continuing on the show after its controversial move - who claimed changes would need to be made if the show failed to get at least eight million viewers.
He said: "'Bake Off's not broken. If we were in a slump, down to something like eight million, then we'd say we need to change something. But we don't."
'Great British Bake Off' - which will see Paul joined by Noel Fielding, Sandy Toksvig, and Prue Leith - airs on Channel 4 next Tuesday (29.08.17) at 8pm.
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