U.K.'s Channel 5 Inks Two-Year Deal for 'Big Brother'

Endemol's cult reality show was axed by rival network Channel 4 in 2010 after 10 years.

CANNES -- Channel 5 has signed a two-year deal with Endemol for cult reality show Big Brother, bringing to an end protracted on-off negotiations between the two companies.

The deal will give Endemol's U.K. cashflow a significant boost and will allow Richard Desmond's Channel 5 to build its summer and winter schedules around an iconic program brand that has a loyal following in the U.K.

The house-based reality show was axed by rival network Channel 4 in 2010 after 10 years because the public service broadcaster wanted to shift its program mix away from commercial material.

Channel 5 has fewer such obligations.Financial details of the new agreement deal were not disclosed, but Desmond, the publishing mogul who acquired Channel 5 last summer, is understood to have secured a significant discount on the $97 million a year that Channel 4 -- a bigger network -- paid for the show.

"We're hugely excited to have secured the return of Big Brother for Channel 5, which will form a key part of this year's schedule," said Channel 5 director of programs Jeff Ford. "The series has previously captivated a decade of television viewers and we aim to bring Channel 5's energy, optimism and vibrancy to the series."

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