The Grand Tour down under: Jeremy Clarkson’s show has a name, but no Aussie broadcaster
Australian Top Gear fans still don't have a legal way to view the effective sequel.
UPDATE 18.11.2016: Amazon Prime has seemingly opened up its services to Australians, making the first episode of The Grand Tour available to Australians who sign up. Read more on where to watch The Grand Tour in Australia.
Original story follows...
I always thought that the new Amazon Prime motoring show from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May should be called Low Gear. After all, you can't stay in Top Gear forever.
Instead, the trio have decided that the show will be called The Grand Tour. The rationale for this is that, as the Amazon press release announcing the title explains, "the show will feature short films shot in different locations around the globe and the studio audience portion of the showcase will also take place at a different location around the world every week. The pre-recorded studio sections of the program will be filmed in front of a live audience, all housed within a giant tent." So it's basically Top Gear, but in a tent. Fair enough.
Where that filming happens hasn't yet been announced. It wouldn't be surprising to find that Australia is on the list, given the popularity of the trio down under. But before that happens, we still need to answer the more pressing question: where will Australians get to watch it?
Currently, Australians can't get an Amazon Prime subscription. Some Amazon Prime productions, such as Transparent, have ended up on Stan. However, it seems unlikely that Amazon Prime would simply want to sell on what is going to almost certainly end up being one of its signature shows. With Stan having invested so much money in Wolf Creek (which launches today, incidentally), it also might not want to pay a hefty fee for the privilege.
Back in February, there were rumours that the show would be used as the launch platform for Amazon Prime in Australia. That's still a possibility, but there's a tricky issue to solve: how would Amazon implement the "free delivery" element of Prime, which is such a big part of its appeal?
Amazon only sells ebooks on its Australian site, and it's not like it could turn to Australia Post as a bastion of delivery reliability if it decided to expand. Charging $100 a year purely for a streaming video service would be a stretch when the competition from Netflix, Presto and Stan is fierce. With Australian rights for almost everything you'd want to watch already stitched up by one of those three, the only content Amazon could be sure of would be its own original productions.
I can't imagine that Amazon won't try and come up with some sort of solution to this dilemma. But about the only thing we can be certain of right now is that it won't sell the rights to Netflix.
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