Home and Away will continue to air on UK television screens, according to Channel 5.
The news that Neighbours would be canceled this summer after 14 years on the television sent shockwaves through Australian soap fans over the weekend.
Neighbours is now in jeopardy as a result of the change, with producer Jason Herbison saying that the show would be canceled entirely in June unless a new broadcast partner can be found.
Despite the fact that Channel 5 has a contract to broadcast Home and Away for as long as it is produced by the Seven Network, recent developments with the channel transferring the show’s nightly airing to 5Star have viewers wondering whether they are trying to get out of their contract.
A spokesman for Channel 5 stated that Home and Away is safe at this time in a statement to the press today:
“Home and Away has broadcast on Channel 5 since 2000, and it has a longstanding and continuing home on the channel,” they told The Sun.
Channel 5 won the rights to broadcast the show in March 2000, outbidding previous broadcaster ITV in a deal worth up to £40 million over the first five years. Despite not having offered as much money as ITV, it was their promise to air the show for the rest of its run that swung the bid in their favor.
The ITC allowed Channel 5 to include Home and Away in their quotas as an originating series rather than an acquisition because they covered more than half of the show’s production costs.
Home and Away’s Executive Producer John Holmes told UK industry publication Broadcast at the time that ITV had only started returning their calls once they realized their rival broadcaster was interested in the show.
“Suddenly the phones did start to ring with a little bit more vigor from London,” he explained. “But once the deal’s done, the deal’s done. They had their reasons and, er, it’s got ‘Crossroads’ now, which, I believe, is going from strength to strength.”
Following the agreement, ITV invoked a clause in their contract that banned Channel 5 from airing until July 2001, therefore taking the show off the air in the UK for nearly a year.
Episodes that aired in Australia in November are presently being shown on Channel 5, with the 2021 season finale set to air on Friday, March 4th in the UK. The UK will be 5 weeks behind Australian airings when the 2022 season premieres the following Monday.