It is a question anyone who wants to watch The Grand Tour without an Amazon Prime subscription will want to know, but could Jeremy Clarkson’s new motoring show actually air on TV?
According to a Business Insider report, the answer is yes – although it may be a long time coming. A ‘British TV industry source’ told the publication that Amazon has ‘a secret arrangement in place’ should it ever wish to sell the show to rivials such as Netflix.
A second source ‘with knowledge of the agreement confirmed its existence’, further suggesting Amazon Prime may not be the only home of The Grand Tour in the future.
ITV is said to be particularly interested in Jeremy Clarkson’s new show. Business Insider sources said the British commercial broadcaster had made enquiries in 2015 (as we are sure many others did). Amazon says it has no interest in selling the programme.
The news seems significant, but you need only look at Top Gear to know how a world-famous TV show can be sold to whoever wants it, especially when you consider an unspecified time frame. The Grand Tour on ITV in a year? We would be gobsmacked. In ten years? Highly likely if the price is right.
It is more than likely The Grand Tour will remain an Amazon Prime exclusive over the three series scheduled for the next three years, as any deviation from this plan could hinder the number of sign-ups to the service.
At least, that will more than likely be the case in the UK, US, Germany, Austria and Japan as these are all countries where Amazon Prime is available. For any of the other 212 territories that bought Top Gear from BBC Worldwide back in 2013, other solutions could be used by IMG Talent.
IMG Talent is the firm that helped Clarkson and Wilman negotiate with Amazon and was responsible for selling the BBC’s spy drama, The Night Manager, to more than 188 countries and is owned by WME IMG.
Then there is the fact Amazon allowed its Ripper Street show to be aired in BBC One within months of being shown on Amazon Prime and that The Grand Tour‘s executive producer, Andy Wilman, told crowds at the Edinburgh International Television Festival he cared about making sure every one watched it.
“I’d like [The Grand Tour] to be seen by as many people as possible. 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,” he said.
It is worth noting Business Insider received investment from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos via his personal Bezos Expeditions investment company.
The Grand Tour started off filming in South Africa followed by California. Its UK visit will be in Whitby and Amazon Prime subscribers can apply for tickets to be in the audience.
The first episode will air on the 18th of November, 2016, with another eleven episodes being released weekly on a Friday. Here is our guide on how to watch it as soon as it launches.