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.“
Things you never knew about Top Gear
Things you never knew about Top Gear
1/14 Top Gear isn't really for adults
It's 'aimed at people with a mental age of nine', according to executive producer Andy Wilman.
2/14 Planet Earth loves it...
Top Gear is screened in more than 100 countries worldwide and has millions of fans.
3/14 ...but not all motoring hacks do
You might think Jezza was a hero of the motoring hack world but that's not strictly accurate. Telegraph journalist Neil Lyndon summed Top Gear's 21st birthday last year up well: 'Does that mean Billy Bunter and his gang finally get forced out of the Fourth Remove and into long trousers?'
4/14 The Top Gear theme tune is a classic rock song
Seven-minute instrumental 'Jessica' by The Allman Brothers was a hit in 1973. Top Gear has recorded its own version now but used part of the original recording at first. One for the road trip playlist.
5/14 Jeremy Clarkson couldn't get much more controversial if he tried
The presenter is currently suspended from the BBC following a 'fracas' with a producer over a steak dinner. Past scandals include a string of racism allegations.
6/14 This Porsche caused all sorts of trouble in Argentina
The Top Gear team were forced to flee Argentina after locals took offence at the car's number plate - believing it was a deliberately provocative reference to the Falklands War of 1982.
7/14 If it's car-buying advice you want, look elsewhere
It's an in-joke in Top Gear that they don't do car tests. You would be mad to make a purchases based on Jezza's verdict.
8/14 Richard Hammond had a near-death experience filming Top Gear
The 'Hamster' was filming a Top Gear segment in a dragster called Vampire when its front-right tyre burst at 288mph. Hammond spent two weeks in a coma but luckily went on to make a full recovery. He requested that no mention of the crash was made in future Top Gear episodes.
9/14 Jeremy Clarkson is more than a little bit taller than Richard Hammond
Nine inches, to be precise.
10/14 Top Gear used to offer real advice
Before these lads took over, it was a real car-reviewing show with presenters such as Angela Rippon, who gave practical reviews of down-to-earth workhorses such as Cavaliers or Mini Metros.
11/14 Those 'reasonably priced' cars take quite a battering
Denis Chick, of Vauxhall, is brave to have lent the show a fleet of his Astras. He said: "Vauxhall Astra sales would not improve if everyone drove like Jimmy Carr around the Dunsfold track." The comedian hilariously took his test car's front off-side tyre clean off its rim.
12/14 Jeremy Clarkson is a YouTube star
Stray down the motoring internet hole and you'll find lovingly posted videos of 'Clarkson the early years' with incredibly loud hair reviewing 1990s cars in an oddly sensible manner. Very disturbing viewing.
13/14 There have been multiple Stigs
Racing driver Perry McCarthy was stuntsman The Stig on the first two series of Top Gear - here's the man under that famous helmet.
14/14 Ben Collins was The Stig for eight years
Ben Collins was The Stig on Top Gear for eight years. He left amid a clash with the BBC when he unmasked his identity and published an autobiography. Collins thinks Top Gear has 'lost some of its sparkle'.
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.Reuse content