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ITV wins The Voice, questions over X Factor

The VoiceUK pubcaster the BBC has confirmed it will no longer show The Voice after the upcoming fifth season ends, with rival broadcaster ITV understood to have poached the singing talent series.

ITV currently shows FremantleMedia format The X Factor and if The Voice deal is confirmed the future of that show on ITV will be cast into doubt, especially in light of weak ratings for the current season.

UK press reports suggest pay TV firm Sky could move for The X Factor if ITV lets it go.

The BBC has been criticised in some quarters for investing in entertainment series such as The Voice and then counter-scheduling them against entertainment series on rival commercial channels.

It will no longer face that criticism with regard to The Voice after confirming over the weekend it had lost the show to a commercial rival. ITV divided the UK production industry after releasing a statement that suggested the BBC should no longer to be allowed to buy foreign formats.

The commercial broadcaster has also agreed, according to UK reports, to run the children’s version of the talent show, The Voice Kids, which will run on CITV.

“The BBC is incredibly proud of The Voice, but the fifth series which starts in January will be our last,” Mark Linsey, acting director, BBC Television, said in a statement released on Twitter.

He added: “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 programme up – and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule – that another broadcaster has poached it.”

The Voice was created by Talpa, John de Mol’s production company, which is now owned by ITV.

Being owned by ITV will likely have contributed to the switch, with current producer Wall to Wall potentially being replaced by ITV Studios.