Popular culinary competition The Great British Bake Off drew an average of 6.5 million viewers and a 30.4% share of viewing when it premiered across its new home on British pubcaster Channel 4 Tuesday evening (Aug. 29).
Bake Off, now in its eighth season, served as C4′s biggest overnight performance since the Paralympic Games opening ceremony five years prior, which brought in 8.3 million eyes. and the biggest peak time share for 16-34 year old viewers since Big Brother premiered a decade earlier.
The debut episode took a peak audience of 7.7 million viewers and a 34.6% share of viewing, ranking as the most popular series in the network’s 8 p.m. time slot.
“The Great British Bake Off‘s audience last night proves it’s still one of the country’s favourite shows,” said Channel 4′s chief creative officer Jay Hunt in a statement. “I am delighted millions watched the new team put 12 magnificent bakers through their paces. It’s the largest share of young audiences we’ve had for a show for over a decade.”
Despite the ratings highs for C4, Bake Off‘s numbers were down when compared to the benchmarks set by the series on its previous home at BBC1. The series finale for BBC attracted 13.6 million viewers, including 3.4 million 16 to 34 year olds and one million “black and minority ethnic audiences,” driving a 10-year high for share of viewing.
Originally produced by UK indie Love Productions, the BBC lost rights to the original version of the series to Channel 4 last September when C4 won a bidding war and inked a three-year deal for the factual program, worth £75 million (US$97 million).
The Great British Bake Off launched on BBC1 in 2010 and became the most popular TV show in the UK in 2014 and 2015.
BBC Worldwide is holding onto the international format rights for 12 years. The company also has an exclusive first negotiation position with Love Productions for the international distribution of future seasons of The Great British Bake Off.
The hit format has since been remade in 23 territories globally, including for the U.S., Australian, French, Polish, South African, Brazilian, Thai and Irish markets. Most recently, it has been sold to Canadian pubcaster CBC, where it will be produced by Toronto’s Proper Television; Bulgaria’s NOVA; and Mexico’s TV Azteca.