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The New Version Of "Top Gear" Will Appear On Netflix Internationally

Exclusive: Netflix chiefs confirmed to BuzzFeed News that they will show the new version of Top Gear to viewers outside the UK, setting up an international head-to-head with Amazon and Jeremy Clarkson.

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Netflix will show the new Chris Evans version of Top Gear internationally, the streaming service's bosses have confirmed, in a deal that sets up a direct battle with Amazon's car show starring Jeremy Clarkson.


There has been speculation for months that Netflix was going to obtain the rights. Netflix already shows the older version of the BBC's Top Gear, featuring Clarkson.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos confirmed publicly for the first time that it will air the Chris Evans version, saying that the show will "fall under the same deals" of international distribution as the existing Top Gear.

Asked whether it would be shown in every country, Sarandos said: "Worldwide I don't know, as there are pockets of output deals that block all of those things, so we can only control worldwide on things that we can control outright, or things that we take on very early in their life. But multi-territory for sure."

The BBC is due to start airing the Evans show in the UK in May, and while Netflix has not confirmed when it will start showing it internationally, it is likely to be later in the year.

Amazon / Via

This means that it will potentially be going head-to-head with the new show fronted by Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May on the Amazon Prime streaming service.

Amazon's show does not have a release date, but a recent trailer confirmed it will appear in the autumn this year.

BuzzFeed News asked Netflix CEO Reed Hastings if he ever planned to sign the new Clarkson, Hammond, and May show after Clarkson left the BBC for punching a producer. He replied: "They bid themselves out to many people and to the highest price, like most creators do. It’s a natural process and Amazon paid the highest price."


He said: "The very concept of a show on at 8 o'clock will seem very foreign. Your grandkids will say to you, 'What does it mean to put a show on at 8 o'clock?' It will be a completely alien concept for them."

Asked what they would do if they were in charge of a BBC, Hastings and Sarandos told BuzzFeed News it was inevitable that BBC Two would close and be online only.

BBC / Via

Hastings: Like BBC Three. Well, next is BBC Two.

BuzzFeed News: So you think it's going to be inevitable?

Sarandos: Inevitable.

Hastings: That's the path of the future.

BuzzFeed News: So there's no way they're going to get around that.

Hastings: The BBC has been a pioneer. They have been the first to invest in technology like the iPlayer, which has done a great job. ... [In the future] they'll have to get rid of the iPlayer branding. It should just be the BBC.

Sarandos: I'm sure the BBC will always play an important role in news and sports and competition shows, all those things that are very live. For film and entertainment it doesn't fit very well.

BBC Worldwide said it had no comment on the Top Gear deal.


In a statement to BuzzFeed News, responding to the future of linear channels, a BBC spokesperson said: "The public loves BBC programmes across all our channels, from The Night Manager and Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur to Line of Duty and Back in Time for the Weekend, and with almost 3 billion TV shows requested on BBC iPlayer last year alone it’s clear that on all our platforms our mission to inform, educate, and entertain has never been more relevant. There are no plans to move BBC Two online.”