Television

Australian broadcaster SBS to produce local version of BBC's 'Top Gear'

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide has concluded a deal with Australian free-to-air network SBS to license the rights to a local version of Top Gear. This is the first such a deal is done globally.

Freehand Productions, BBC Worldwide's Australasian partner, will produce the local version, which will transmit on SBS next year. Eight episodes are planned.

BBC Worldwide has identified Top Gear as one of its top priority brands across all platforms.

Top Gear MD at BBC Worldwide Adam Waddell said, "This is an incredible step forward for the brand in one of our most important territories. With the UK series viewed in more than 100 countries worldwide, and BBC Top Gear magazine licensed in 19 countries, our focus is very much about expanding the brand through areas such as local production and localised online content."

SBS has also extended its commitment to the UK version. Top Gear has aired on the network since 2005, and is its highest-rating non-sport show.

BBC Worldwide Australasia's head of sales Julie Dowding sales, "It is very exciting for us to have done this deal with SBS. We are very proud that the first global deal for a local version of Top Gear has been done here in Australia."

UK Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says, "I'm delighted that Top Gear is going to Australia. Maybe the first guest could be Jonny Wilkinson."

BBC Top Gear magazine is licensed in many countries including India, Italy, Netherlands, Greece, Dubai, Syria, New Zealand and Singapore.

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