Broadcast article: Netflix inks UK format deal

22 October 2018

Broadcast article: Netflix inks UK format deal

SVoD giant buys finished tape and remake rights to Voltage’s Big Family Cooking Showdown.

Netflix has bought the global format rights to Voltage TV’s The Big Family Cooking Showdown, striking what is thought to be its first deal of this kind.

Voltage, run by chief executive Sanjay Singhal and managing director Steve Nam, has sold both the BBC2 version of the show – which Netflix will make available in 190 countries – and the first option on local remakes.

Voltage struck the agreement directly with the streaming giant, without involving an international distributor. Broadcast understands the producer’s previous first-look arrangement with BBC Worldwide expired last year.


Although the indie did not partner with a sales agent, it did work closely with talent agency CAA through US-based alternative television packaging agent Scott Lonker and London-based head of television Victoria Fitzpatrick.

Netflix has been increasing its focus on non-scripted formats, and in February launched local versions of Sylvester Stallone-fronted competition series Ultimate Beastmaster in the US, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.

However, Beastmaster is a Netflix origination as opposed to the SVoD player acquiring international format rights to an existing show, as it did with The Big Family Cooking Showdown.

The UK format, fronted by Zoë Ball and Nadiya Hussain, pits teams of passionate amateur chefs against each other for the chance to be crowned the nation’s best home cooks. Netflix will launch the show shortly after its 12 x 60-minute UK run concludes in early November.

Netflix is then expected to analyse global viewing data before deciding where to order local adaptations. This could result in a series of new versions in unexpected markets, rather than just the territories that traditionally reformat British shows.

It is understood that the format rights to the show will revert back to Voltage on a territory-by-territory basis if an adaptation has not been made after a period of time. 

The BBC2 format was originally commissioned by controller Patrick Holland and former head of formats and features commissioning Donna Clark, and is exec produced by Singhal and Kathleen Larkin.

It launched in August and has averaged an overnight audience of 1.5 million (7.9%) across its first six episodes.

The series, which also features chefs Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Shrager as judges, initially aired on Tuesdays at 8pm before being moved, after two episodes, to Thursdays at 8pm, to avoid clashing with Channel 4’s launch of The Great British Bake Off. 

The Big Family Cooking Showdown deal is the first major piece of SVoD business that Voltage has won. The Channel 4 Growth Fund-backed indie recently produced 90-minute film One Deadly Weekend in America for BBC3 and is currently working on a 90-minute science documentary for ITV that will trace Ant and Dec’s ancestors.

It has also made three series of Inside The Factory for BBC2.