Bobby Flay Wanted a $100M Contract to Stay with Food Network: 'Strictly Business,' Says Source

Bobby Flay and the Food Network appear to be parting ways after Flay's three-year contract expires at the end of this year

Photo: Scott Gries/Food Network

Bobby Flay's 27 years with the Food Network came to an end over money, a source close to the celebrity chef's team tells PEOPLE.

On Friday, news broke that Flay, 56, would be parting ways with the network once his current three-year contract expires at the end of this year.

According to the insider, Flay had been in negotiations with the Food Network and was seeking a deal that would be above Guy Fieri's recent $80 million contract (which reportedly made the Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives host the highest-paid chef on cable TV).

"Bobby wanted a contract in the ballpark of $100 million," the source says.

However, a source close to the Food Network tells PEOPLE comparing the two stars' contracts is "not apples to apples."

"Guy has a three-year deal," they add. "The terms of what Bobby was looking for were gravely different than just cash. The terms were longer, the scope of work was different and thus the dollars were different. It's not just $80 million to $100 million."

Ultimately, the network wouldn't budge in negotiations with Flay. "The two sides were just way too far apart. It became clear the two could not and would not be able to come to terms and so the network decided to move forward without him," the Flay source says. "Regardless, it was really much more amicable than you'd think. It was strictly business."

Food Network had no comment when reached by PEOPLE, while a representative for Flay did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri
Denis Contreras/Getty; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Flay has been a longtime staple on Food Network, having made his debut in 1994. Since then, the culinary master has starred and hosted numerous hit shows — including Boy Meets Grill, Beat Bobby Flay, Food Network Star, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, Brunch @ Bobby's, and Iron Chef America.

He has won four Daytime Emmys during his years on TV, two James Beard awards, and has even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ethan Miller/Getty

Meanwhile, Fieri — who has appeared on the Food Network since winning the second season of The Next Food Network Star in April 2006 — has had a slew of shows on the channel aside from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (his signature series, which has well over 400 episodes). Those include Guy's Grocery Games, Guy's Family Road Trip and more.

Fieri reportedly signed his $80 million deal in May, telling PEOPLE that same month that he and his wife of 26 years, Lori, celebrated by finally pulled the trigger on a place in West Palm Beach.

"We've been trying for a long time to get a place in Florida," he said. "We've been talking about it, talking about it, and talking about it, and we just happened to be back there shooting Triple D and doing some projects, and we contacted a real estate agent who took us around and showed us some stuff. ... [And] we got an awesome place and we're super excited."

"It wasn't because of the contract, but it did coincide," added Fieri, whose home base is in Northern California. "It makes it a lot easier to explain to Lori how I'm buying a house in Florida, when you go, 'I did just do a new contract.' "

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