Netflix In Talks With BBC For Revamped “Top Gear” Rights

Netflix In Talks With BBC For Revamped “Top Gear” Rights

Netflix is reportedly in talks with the BBC for streaming rights to revamped car show Top Gear, which could compete with Jeremy Clarkson’s new Amazon Prime show. The streaming giant is in “the early stages” of discussions with the BBC to obtain the streaming rights to the show, reported The Guardian.

A concern for Amazon?

When a clip was aired at a showcase in Liverpool last month, the BBC show hosted by Chris Evans with cohosts including Matt Le Blanc and Eddie Jordan did well with foreign buyers. The Guardian, citing unnamed sources, says a number of international broadcasters, including in key markets Australia and Germany, want to buy the show. The old Top Gear was sold to more than 200 territories.

Amazon, which spent £160 million in hiring the original Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May and their executive producer Andy Wilman to make a new car show, must be concerned about Netflix’s new interest.

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At that time, Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt told Digital Spy that Amazon paid more than the show is worth. Hunt said they have the past episodes of Top Gear, so they have a pretty good idea of what audiences like.

“Clearly it wasn’t worth the money to make the deal … I think they sold themselves for way more money [than they’re worth].”

Netflix and BBC: How will the deal go?

What terms the streaming giant will strike with the BBC this year is not to anyone’s knowledge. In the previous year, Netflix struck an innovative agreement to air the reboot of hit children’s series Danger Mouse, a co-production between the corporation and FremantleMedia.

The rodent secret agent is being streamed in North and Latin America, the Nordic territories, Benelux and Japan, while Danger Mouse is being aired on conventional TV in the U.K. The series was kept off the subscription-based streaming service in the U.K., primarily due to the BBC’s rights, but Netflix said it will launch it in all territories sometime later.

The new Top Gear is due to begin on BBC2 towards the end of May, and if Netflix bought it, then it could be streamed in the autumn around the same time when Clarkson, Hammond and May’s new series is due to start. As of now, there have been no comments on the matter from the BBC or Netflix.

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