Top Gear fans will already be well aware that its former hosts recently signed a deal with Amazon for an all-new car show set to air next year exclusively for Prime subscribers. With Clarkson, Hammond and May having helped transform Top Gear into a global success and major cash cow for the BBC, the team, which includes the ex-show’s influential executive producer Andy Wilman, was never going to come cheap.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos acknowledged the fact in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph over the weekend, saying that the deal to bring the boys to Amazon was a “very, very, very expensive” one. In true Amazon style, specific figures weren’t forthcoming, though sources close to the deal recently told the Financial Times it cost the Seattle-based company a whopping $250 million for 36 episodes over three years.
Of course, we don’t know how much of that Clarkson, Hammond and May will be getting, though you can be sure it’ll be a very, very, very large amount. Bezos added that the three presenters were “worth a lot and they know it.”
In its later years, Top Gear was generating in the region of $78 million annually for the BBC through sales of downloads, DVDs, books, and, of course, overseas broadcast rights. Bezos, meanwhile, will be hoping the new car show will help publicize Amazon Prime and lead to a significant bump in sign-ups.
Top Gear in its current form was parked by the BBC earlier this year after Clarkson punched a producer upon learning that there was no hot food available at a filming location.
The presenter was at the time on a final warning following a number of other incidents, though those were linked to controversial remarks rather than violent behavior.