Reports surfaced Thursday morning that streaming giant Netflix is in talks with the BBC to acquire some rights on the revamped car show Top Gear. The deal could mirror the one signed by the two companies on Danger Mouse, the BBC’s reboot of the classic children’s animated series. On that show, the BBC retained UK broadcast rights, exclusively at first, with Netflix taking selected international rights.
Netflix passed on acquiring former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s new car show when the presenter left the BBC in disgrace last year after assaulting a Top Gear producer. Amazon picked up the new show, which reunites the Top Gear triumvirate of Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May as well as exec producer Andy Wilman. Netflix execs have criticised the deal, saying that Amazon overpaid for the show.
The new Top Gear returns to BBC Two in May with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc hosting, along with Motorsport guru and Formula 1 commentator Eddie Jordan; world record-breaking German racing driver Sabine Schmitz; motoring journalist and YouTube petrolhead Chris Harris; and car reviewer and TV presenter Rory Reid.
Netflix did not confirm what stage the talks were at, or even if they were taking place. Netflix has, however, been a BBC Worldwide customer for many years and has had Top Gear on its service for many years as well.