New episodes of Top Gear will now be screened first on Pay Television in a new deal with BBC Worldwide and Nine.
BBC Knowledge will fast-track Series 19 “bringing the program to subscription TV viewers in a consistent slot and only days after the UK transmission” it said in a Press Release.
Nine will have the Free to Air premieres, understood to be several months later via Nine and GO!
While Nine remains aligned to the Top Gear brand, it’s a long way from the buoyant and lucrative deal that the network forged when the show left the SBS garage in 2009.
At the time David Gyngell said, “We are genuinely excited to have Top Gear under the Nine banner and look forward to bringing it to an even wider audience.”
While the show debuted well for Nine, last year it struggled with changing timeslots and delayed episodes. But it has also become a staple for GO!
BBC Worldwide Director of Sales Julie Dowding said, “This is a significant deal for BBC Worldwide Australasia and for Australian Top Gear fans. We are fast-tracking Top Gear to Australia by closing the transmission window, offering premium value to viewers on our wholly owned channel BBC Knowledge, and ensuring that all Australians get the opportunity to view Top Gear by continuing our successful relationship with the Nine Network.”
Michael Healy, Nine’s Director of Television said, “We’re delighted to be continuing our successful relationship with Top Gear, bringing one of the world’s biggest shows to all Australians on Nine.”
Deirdre Brennan, GM/Director of Channels for BBC Worldwide added, “Top Gear is a premium brand that appeals to a broad audience, from families to motoring fans, with its infectious mix of credibility and character. It’s very exciting to be able to bring it to Australian Foxtel customers first on BBC Knowledge.”
A BBC spokesperson confirmed to TV Tonight there are no plans to proceed with Top Gear Australia.