Amazon CEO: Deal With Former 'Top Gear' Hosts "Very, Very, Very Expensive” But Worth It
“They're worth a lot and they know it,” Jeff Bezos says about Jeremy Clarkson and his co-stars.
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos says launching a new car show with the former stars of BBC's Top Gear will be "very, very, very expensive," but that the multimillion dollar deal will be worth it for the e-commerce giant's streaming video platform.
In a wide-ranging interview with the U.K.'s Sunday Telegraph, Bezos said he was "very excited" about the concept for the show with Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. The stars of the long-running BBC show, along with Top Gear's former executive producer Andy Wilman, recently signed a three-season deal with Amazon for a new car show.
Clarkson was fired from Top Gear following an incident that saw him punch a producer. His two co-stars then resigned. The BBC will continue with the successful franchise, hiring British TV and radio personality Chris Evans to headline the show's new season.
The Amazon deal has been valued at up to $250 million for Clarkson and colleagues. While Bezos wouldn't discuss financial details, he acknowledged that the former Top Gear team was "worth a lot and they know it."
The new show will be carried over Amazon's on-demand Prime service, with the first episode due for release sometime next year.
Top Gear has been a massive international success for the BBC, generating around $80 million a year for the U.K. public broadcaster. But the show has also been a regular source of controversy, with Clarkson often accused of racist or xenophobic remarks.