Top Gear Live’s future in doubt after Jeremy Clarkson dropped by BBC

Top Gear is not only a show. It is the quintessence of what means “a passion for cars”. And without Clarkson – it will be only just a show, like any auto show.

It is the only show, who presents directly, with no curtain what is good or bad with a car, no matter the brand. We love the show just because its objectivity.

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Powered by article titled “Top Gear Live’s future in doubt after Jeremy Clarkson dropped by BBC” was written by Mark Sweney, for on Wednesday 25th March 2015 16.32 UTC

The future of the BBC’s £11m global Top Gear Live tour has been thrown into doubt after the corporation said it will not be renewing Jeremy Clarkson’s contract.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has already been forced to postpone four shows in Norway scheduled for this weekend, affecting 18,000 people who paid ticket prices ranging from £45 to £100.

A spokesman for BBC Worldwide, which runs the shows as a joint venture with Brand Events, said the business had to work through the implications of the corporation’s decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract following an inquiry into his attack on Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.

“We are working through the implications of today’s announcement with our partner Brand Events and will make a definitive statement on the Live tour as soon as possible,” he said.

Live Nation, which promotes the UK shows, is adamant that the events planned for Belfast in May, Sheffield in June and at London’s 02 in November will go ahead.

“Absolutely the tour is going on,” said a source close to Live Nation. “Clarkson and the boys will be appearing in the live shows.”

Top Gear Live has a string of international events lined up this year, with the next under threat potentially Sydney and Johannesburg in June.

BBC Worldwide has not announced new dates for the postponed shows in Norway.

The BBC’s joint venture with Brand Events, known as Sub-Zero Events, made £11.4m in revenues in the year to the end of March last year, according to the most recently filed accounts at Companies House.

The business is likely to have been on track to make significantly more this year, given the announcement of Top Gear Live’s “first-ever UK-wide arena tour”.

In a press release announcing aspects of the shows in the UK tour, Clarkson is quoted as saying: “What could possibly go wrong?”

BBC Worldwide makes about £50m in revenues from commercialising the Top Gear brand globally, from sales of the TV programme to over 200 territories, to books and DVDs.

“BBC Worldwide remains strongly supportive of and committed to Top Gear – which is fully BBC owned – as a key property within our catalogue and brand portfolio,” said a BBC spokesman. “We will continue to work closely with BBC Television and all our partners on plans for its renewal and return in 2016.”

Clarkson’s departure could have major ramifications for BBC Worldwide’s global TV deals. The corporation’s decision to postpone airing the final three episodes of the current season, following Clarkson’s suspension, could already end out costing millions of pounds.

BBC Worldwide broadcasts the show to 214 territories and an audience of 350 million, it is the biggest factual TV show in the world, complete with entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The BBC could be liable for penalty payments for failing to deliver the episodes on time, as well as renegotiating for potentially failing to deliver a full series.

BBC director general Tony Hall said on Wednesday that he is exploring how to complete filming and broadcast the three postponed episodes.

There could also be implications for BBC Brit, the corporation’s global commercial channel showing factual entertainment shows, as it relies heavily on Top Gear, with the BBC saying earlier this year that “BBC Brit is the destination for Top Gear”.

Rather than the giant effigy of The Stig that was used to launch the channel in Poland in February, the BBC has decided to use “a different stunt idea” this time, according to a spokeswoman. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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