Netflix says Amazon paid a whopping $250 million for its new Jeremy Clarkson show Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 22nd Nov 2016
Amazon paid about $250 million for its new show "The Grand Tour," a series from Jeremy Clarkson and the "Top Gear" team, according to Netflix's content boss, Ted Sarandos.
The first episode of the show's 12-episode first season dropped November 18.
The FT previously reported that Amazon had paid $250 million for three seasons of the show.
"The Grand Tour" is a huge moment for Amazon in its bid to rival Netflix as the top producer of high-quality streaming content.
Netflix even mentioned the show in its most recent earnings report, saying the company assumed it would make Amazon "as global as YouTube and Netflix." Amazon is poised to expand its video service to more than 200 countries, most likely starting in December, according to The Wall Street Journal.
If "The Grand Tour" is Amazon's calling card in its worldwide ambitions, it didn't come cheap. Though some had floated the idea that Amazon had paid about $160 million for it, Sarandos claimed Amazon paid much more.
"That's an under-reported number," Sarandos told The Telegraph. "It was about a quarter of a billion dollars. We'll be able to figure out later what it was that made the show the show. It'll be interesting with 'Grand Tour' to see how much of that is the players, who in many cases are big personalities, but what elements of 'Top Gear' will people miss?"
Amazon is doubling its spend on video content in the second half of this year, compared with last year, the company's CFO, Brian Olsavsky, said previously. Amazon most recently disclosed its investment amount on video content back in 2014, when it spent $1.3 billion.
Sarandos said Netflix pursued the show but implied his company didn't think it was worth what Amazon paid.
"We made a play for that show, definitely," Sarandos said. "But we've had every season of 'Top Gear' on Netflix in most territories in the world, so we had a better sense than most of what the audience was for 'Top Gear' on our platform. We knew what it was worth."
Netflix is no stranger to shelling out money, however. It plans to spend $6 billion on content in 2017.