BBC and Top Gear: A Business Lesson Can Be Learned From This

It’s safe to say that if you’re a Top Gear fan, you’re feeling depressed like many other car enthusiasts. With Jeremy Clarkson’s firing, James May and Richard Hammond have already made it clear that it’s all three of them doing the show or there is no Top Gear at all. The BBC and Clarkson have had an interesting history over the past few years, with the BBC threatening to fire Clarkson should another controversial story come about, and now that prophecy has come to fruition. However, is this really the end of Top Gear or just the beginning of something even better?

Top Gear rakes in $74 million for the BBC annually, and this show has become a worldwide sensation, drawing in fans from around the world. Needless to say they’re lucrative, and in business, making money is the name of the game. While the BBC might be willing to cut ties and take a gamble on possibly losing millions of weekly viewers, other TV networks are willing to take their own risk and try enticing Jeremy Clarkson and the rest of Top Gear’s crew to join their TV lineup. Who wouldn’t want to see $74 million in annual revenue? That’s why this isn’t the end of the greatest show on earth, but in terms of the name, Top Gear as a TV show might no longer exist.

TV shows that make this much money don’t just disappear. If money can be made, there’s always a way to mend fences, or build new ones with some other TV network. For Jeremy Clarkson, he’s holding all the cards. Not only has Netflix shown interest in the outspoken presenter, but Sky News and ITV are rumored to be positioning themselves to bring the entire cast and show to their network. If Clarkson decides to go in a different direction and go independent, he’s already got the connections to make it happen, and it wouldn’t shock anyone that Richard Hammond and James May would not be too far behind in joining their brother in arms.

What BBC has done is nothing short of being the worst business decision in the history of the entertainment industry. Not only are they in jeopardy of losing $74 million per year, but they gave the most powerful presenter on television the opportunity to make more money if he decides to make his own TV show, whether that be with help from Netflix, other networks, or business investors.

It’s safe to say that Top Gear is one of the most influential car shows on the planet, possibly creating millions of dollars for car companies that not only sell in Europe, but also in the United States. Having Jeremy Clarkson going his own way, he can choose to have production done in the United States where distribution, annual revenue, bigger networks, and larger audiences reside. What could be a Top Gear fan’s biggest nightmare, might just be their biggest pipe dream come true. There’s the potential for Top Gear to come back better than ever should all three presenters leave the BBC.

Jeremy Clarkson isn’t stupid, and in fact has connections in very high places to make creating his own show a reality. James May and Richard Hammond are without a doubt going to join Clarkson on his next endeavor, and for all three of them they have an opportunity to make more money than if they did under the guidance of BBC.

Bigger profits are the possibility here. Who’s to stop a guy such as Jay Leno from acquiring these three to create an epic TV show in the United States? The doors are now open for all possibilities, and we can thank the BBC.

The lesson than can be learned here is that when you have a product that’s making you money, you do whatever is in your power to make sure that you don’t lose it. Clearly the BBC doesn’t value Top Gear like so many around the world, and they’re going to regret it when Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond make someone else extremely rich, and see their own fame rise higher than it was under the BBC.

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