ITV bosses are offering Harry Hill a deal worth up to £4m to stay with the broadcaster.
Channel executives have been ordered to hold on to the comedian "at any cost", as his 'TV Burp' show pulls in more middle-class and high-earning viewers than any other ITV shows, while Harry reportedly brought in £20m in TV advertisements in 2011 alone.
However, the former doctor is reportedly set to defect to Channel 4 because he "doesn't need ITV's money".
An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The reason ITV want to keep Harry and especially 'TV Burp' is not just the high ratings it gets but the type of people that watch the show.
"TV Burp gets audience members who don’t always watch ITV and would normally tune into BBC Two or Channel 4 so the advertisers love it."
But ITV chiefs have played down how much the channel could lose if Harry leaves the network.
A statement from the broadcaster said: "ITV does not sell its airtime against individual programmes but across access to different audiences and ratings. Therefore this speculative figure, attributed to a single series in our schedule, is completely inaccurate.”
It was recently revealed Harry could be set to join forces with impressionist Alistair McGowan for a new ITV panel show entitled 'You Cannot Be Serious!'.
A source said: "The programme will show funny clips from the week's sports and allow Alistair to write new sketches for the first time in ages. The pilot was side-splittingly funny."