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Netflix has confirmed that it will stream the BBC’s revamped Top Gear — co-hosted by Matt LeBlanc — in multiple international territories when it launches next month, setting it up for a head-to-head clash with Amazon’s upcoming big-budget motoring show led by its former host, Jeremy Clarkson.
“Theoretically it should follow the deal of the old format where Top Gear is still under the terms of the old deal,” said Netflix’s chief creative officer Ted Sarandos, speaking at an event in Paris on Tuesday.
“So in many parts of the world we already have it picked up and we’ll continue to talk to them about doing it as well,” he added. “The show is very popular on Netflix as you can imagine. There’s a change in format but people definitely prefer the British Top Gear over the local Top Gear in almost every country in the world.”
The news comes after Netflix acquisition execs were spotted at the BBC Worldwide Showcase in Liverpool last month, where Top Gear was the star attraction, and underlines growing talk of a push toward nonscripted programming.
The new-look show, which has been the subject of intense scrutiny since Clarkson was ousted as host last year, sees LeBlanc host alongside British media personality Chris Evans, and is set to debut on the BBC and BBC America in May.
Much less is known about Clarkson’s as-yet-untitled series on Amazon, which is costing the platform a reported $250 million for three years and 36 episodes. It is due to bow this fall.
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