Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has admitted that his company may have missed a chance to buy The Great British Bake Off.
“We knew it was brewing, but I didn’t actually think it would happen,” the 52-year-old tells this week’s Radio Times.
Asked if Netflix was slow off the mark before Channel 4 swooped for the show he said: “Yes, yes!”
In the interview, Sarandos also notes that previous series of Bake Off are “very popular” on Netflix USA, and suggests there’s a “slight” case of double standards in Channel 4’s defence of its acquisition of the BBC baking show.
Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt expressed outrage earlier this year when Netflix swooped for Charlie Brooker’s dystopian drama series Black Mirror. “Black Mirror couldn’t be a more Channel 4 show,” Hunt said. “We grew it from a dangerous idea to a brand that resonated globally.”
Sarandos said of her comments: “I think Charlie Brooker would take great exception to the notion that they developed the show. That is the work of Charlie Brooker, who is a brilliant television creator, and the ambitions that he and [executive producer] Annabel Jones had for the new season were… seemingly out of reach or beyond the appetite that Channel 4 had for the show. So they cancelled it. And we picked it up.”
TV is, says Sarandos, “becoming a much more competitive marketplace, which is great for talent and really great for viewers”.
Black Mirror fans are going to get two six-episode series of the show rather than the one or two programmes a year Channel 4 could afford, he says, adding: “They’re all filmed in the UK with British directors, British talent”.
Read the full interview with Ted Sarandos in this week’s issue of Radio Times, in shops and on the Apple Newsstand from Tuesday 25th October. Also included is your free Discover TV guide to the best upcoming shows on Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer, NowTV and the world of on demand television…