Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear co-hosts 'weren't worth' the money
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Top Gear trio not worth the millions paid by Amazon, says Netflix chief
Online streaming service Netflix has said Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear co-presenters 'weren't worth' the $384million said to have been paid by rival Amazon to air a new version of the show.
Netflix was known to have been in discussions with the popular trio but decided against taking things further after analysing its own viewership data of past Top Gear episodes, according to chief product officer Neil Hunt.
He revealed that Netflix's perceived popularity of the show suggested it was not worth splashing out on a $240m plus contract to get Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond on board.
Mr Hunt told Digital Spy: 'We have past episodes of Top Gear, so we have a pretty good gauge of what audiences like.
'Our buying decisions tend to be somewhat data-driven. We have a lot of data to get the deals we want, so there we go.
'Clearly it wasn't worth the money to make the deal... I think they sold themselves for way more money [than they're worth].'
Last month the founder and CEO of Amazon admitted that signing up the former Top Gear trio for a new online motoring show was 'very, very, very expensive'.
Jeff Bezos declined to say how much the three presenters were being paid but the deal is said to be worth around £160million over three years. That would give them an eye-watering budget of £4.4million to spend on each of the 36 hour-long episodes.
The first series of the show is due to launch next year on the online retailer's streaming video service Amazon Prime
Because Amazon is a US-owned internet brand, the deal gets round a ban on Clarkson, 55, doing a car show with another UK broadcaster until 2017.
When the new show does launch, it could go head to head with the BBC’s own Top Gear revamp headed by Chris Evans.
The Amazon programme will be overseen by the trio’s longstanding executive producer, Andy Wilman, a schoolfriend of Clarkson who was widely acknowledged as the brains behind Top Gear and the inspiration for some of its more controversial moments.
However, fans will have to sign up to Amazon’s £79-a-year Prime service before they can watch Clarkson, May and Hammond – and many will have to pay even more to rig their televisions up to the internet.