Top Gear on Amazon Prime: Netflix felt Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were 'not worth the money'

A senior Netflix staff member said the trio "sold themselves for way more money" than they are worth

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Netflix abandoned bargaining to secure a new car show featuring the former presenters of Top Gear because the trio are “not worth the money”, according to a senior figure at the streaming service.

Richard Hammond and James May stepped down from the long-running BBC show earlier this year after the broadcaster axed Jeremy Clarkson for punching a producer after a shoot.

Following speculation over the lucrative trio’s next move, Amazon Prime announced in July that it had commissioned a three-season car show with the presenters.

It has since emerged that they have been granted a £160 million budget to put together the 36 hour-long episodes – amounting to £4.4 million per show, according to Digital Spy.

“Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen,” said Neil Hunt, vice president of the online market place’s streaming service.

However, streaming rival Netflix has suggested that Amazon Prime has put too much money into show.

At the time of talks with the former Top Gear presenters, Netflix assessed its data on how well the show already performs on its service, Mr Hunt told Digital Spy.

“Clearly it wasn't worth the money to make the deal... I think they sold themselves for way more money [than they're worth],” he said.

Mr Hunt later sought to clarify his comments, and told Digital Spy: ”There is an audience for everything and it is not up to us to judge if Amazon has paid too much or not.“

He made the comments after it emerged that BT was uninterested in securing a deal for a car show featuring Messers Clarkson, Hammond and May.

Delia Bushell, the BT Sport and TV managing Director, told The Guardian that she “didn’t consider it.”

“It just wasn’t right for us,” she told The Guardian's Edinburgh International TV Festival, adding: “It’s a fantastic franchise, but it made more sense for a global player like Netflix because Top Gear has huge US revenues as well.”

The show, which is yet unnamed, is slated to air next year.

Meanwhile, Top Gear will continue on the BBC with Chris Evans replacing Jeremy Clarkson. Jodie Kidd, who was tipped to appear alongside the former TFI Friday presenter, recently turned down the role.