Talent show The Voice will join ITV from 2017 as part of a three-year deal, the commercial broadcaster has confirmed.
It was expected that ITV would pick up the show after the BBC's acting director of television, Mark Linsey, confirmed several weeks ago that The Voice - which currently airs on BBC1 - would be leaving the Corporation after the fifth series in January 2016.
"We always said we wouldn’t get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show," he said. "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 three-year ITV deal will include an ITV2 spin-off show for The Voice, and also a two-series commitment to make The Voice Kids.
Devised by Dutch Big Brother creator John de Mol in 2010, The Voice has become one of the most popular talent shows in the world competing with the Idol and X Factor formats in many global markets. It now has more than 60 local versions (including the USA, Australia and the UK) which are shown in more than 180 countries across the world.
A controversial buy-in by the BBC in 2012, The Voice UK 'coaches' have included will.i.am, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue and Rita Ora, who this year joined ITV's X Factor as a judge.
ITV have yet to reveal where their newest talent show acquisition will fit into their schedules, with some commentators previously suggesting The Voice could be being lined up as a replacement to Simon Cowell's X Factor, which has seen declining ratings in recent series.
However, ITV insiders speaking recently to RadioTimes.com suggested The Voice, X Factor and Britain's Got Talent could co-exist on ITV. A view echoed by Director of Television at ITV, Peter Fincham, who today 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!”