Amazon has paid a whopping amount for 'The Grand Tour', the new car show from the ex-'Top Gear' presenters. But it might not stay exclusive to Amazon customers forever.
Amazon has denied the fact, saying it has "no interest" to licence the show to other broadcasters. But according to Business Insider, Amazon has a secret arrangement in place should it change its mind. This would allow it to licence so-called "second window rights" to the show to any broadcaster willing to cough up.
There's no obligation on Amazon to do so, however. So it could stay exclusive to Prime Video forever.
A "British TV industry source" revealed the news to Business Insider. It was confirmed by a second source.
According to the sources, Amazon agreed to work with talent agency IMG, which represents presenter Jeremy Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman. (IMG also sold BBC spy drama 'The Night Manager' to almost 200 countries earlier this year.)
One source claimed Amazon had already approached broadcasters to gauge interest, though Amazon denies this.
Back in April, Amazon claimed that despite the interest from other broadcasters, the show would be exclusive to Prime members. "There has been sub-licensing interest from others, it is a very sought-after show," Jay Marine, Amazon's European vice-president, told the Guardian. "But we have no interest in doing that. This is an exclusive show for Amazon Prime members."
However, executive producer Andy Wilman (who also worked with Clarkson et al on 'Top Gear') said last month that he wouldn't be against the show being on TV. "I'd like it to be seen by as many people as possible," he told the Edinburgh International Television Festival. "How that comes, I don't care. The 'Top Gear''s have got a good shelf life... so I'm hoping this has got a shelf-life too."
Amazon has sold other shows to broadcasters. For example, it sold 'Ripper Street' to the BBC, who originally cancelled it after two series. One possibility is that it sells the show to countries where Amazon Prime Video isn't available, so as not to annoy Prime members who joined because it was the only way to see the show. At the moment, Prime Video is only available in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan, but Clarkson et al have proved they appeal to viewers all over the world.
The first series of 'The Grand Tour' launches on Amazon on November 18th. Subsequent episodes will air every Friday.
Source: Business Insider