When High Gear got here to an abrupt halt in March of 2015 there was a lot hypothesis about the way forward for the present and its presenters. A return to the BBC was ultimately dominated out for the presenters, leaving the world to invest on the place they might transfer to. The highest contenders to choose up the trio of presenters included rival British TV station Channel 5, huge identify US networks, and Netflix. Whereas every of those teams could have been fascinated with being their new house it was Netflix who had essentially the most to win and lose from this deal.
Channel 5, whereas in all probability within the trio (for his or her notoriety and skill to attract in viewers) simply as a lot as another station within the UK, have already got a automobile present hosted by members of the pre-2002 High Gear solid. Thus there was actually no motive to rent Jeremy, James, and Hammond after they have already got a well-established solid working their very own automobile present.
Hypothesis round curiosity from huge identify US networks by no means materialized. One potential motive for this might be attributed to the BBC already having a US (though a much less profitable) model of the present. One other doubtless motive might be the lack for the present (and its British hosts) to seize a bigger American viewers with their unfamiliar model and mental humour.
This left Netflix as the principle critical contender to choose up the three former High Gear presenters for a brand new present. For a lot of causes this match was virtually excellent.
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In 2012 High Gear was awarded the Guinness World File for essentially the most watched factual TV program on this planet with viewers in 212 areas across the globe. Way back to January 2015 Netflix was speaking about how they deliberate to broaden their operation all over the world. Traditionally Netflix’s worldwide operations have been hampered by restrictive licensing offers which make for inconsistent choices between nations. To fight these inconsistencies Netflix has been championing creating their very own “Unique Content material” which they will then make accessible all over the world with out restrictions. The timing of the demise of High Gear may additionally not have been higher for Netflix as going into 2016 Netflix will probably be spending $6 billion on unique programming. What higher technique to mark their worldwide growth than with the upcoming launch of a brand new present, accessible all over the world, from the creators of worlds most watched factual present.
Sadly, this seemingly excellent deal by no means got here to fruition. Amazon ended up selecting up Jeremy, James, Hammond, in addition to their producer Andy Wilman, for a brand new automobile present on Amazon Instantaneous Video for £160m.
Netflix’s response to the widespread shock at their seeming lack of effort to choose up the trio for a brand new present said that the presenters weren’t well worth the cash that Amazon was paying. They claimed to have primarily based this choice on audiences curiosity and viewership statistics from their again catalogue of High Gear episodes.
Netflix although, failed to note a deadly flaw within the foundation for his or her choice. Whereas Netflix operates in a dozen nations all over the world, nearly all of their viewers are nonetheless in Canada and the US. The issue is that in Canada and the US Netflix carries the model of High Gear from BBC America. Attributable to variations in broadcasting within the UK vs within the USA or Canada there are quite a few insurmountable variations betten this BBC America model, and the one on BBC2 within the UK.
The primary noticeable distinction is the size of the present. Whereas the BBC within the UK has no commercials, BBC America does. Which means whereas most episodes of High Gear within the UK are round 60 minutes lengthy (and infrequently a pair minutes longer) those within the US are not often 50 minutes. Which means earlier than anything is taken into account viewers are shedding 10 minutes of content material each episode. One key instance of that is the exclusion of the memorial piece by Jeremy Clarkson on the lifetime of F1 driver Ayrton Senna. This was one of the crucial shifting items High Gear has ever filmed and folks watching in North America (and on Netflix) won’t ever get to see it.
The second most noticeable distinction is the music used within the present. High Gear does some improbable shoots in superb locations with properly thought-out music decisions. Sadly, as a result of licencing points between nations, some music is substituted when the present comes throughout the pond. Among the many 1000’s of music substitutions all through the present (primarily the recognisable well-liked items of music) the obvious instance is within the Vietnam particular when the trio is introduced with their backup transportation choice. The bike in query was painted in stars and stripes colors and trailed two american flags. This in itself was a powerful assertion, however when paired with the accompanying music was much more highly effective. Within the UK BBC2 broadcast the reveal of the bike was paired with the enjoying of “Born within the USA”. This tune by Bruce Springsteen is concerning the Vietnam Warfare and consists of such insensitive strains as “Despatched me off to a international land, To go and kill the yellow man”. As a alternative the BBC America model used the Star Spangled Banner which, whereas related to the America-Vietnam connection, simply didn’t convey the identical stage of political in-correctness that the unique music selection did.
These two examples make the case that the UK and American variations of the present had been so vastly completely different that they need to hardly be thought of the identical present. This highlights the inaccuracy of Netflix’s viewer knowledge as viewers like myself who subscribe to netflix and watch High Gear select to look at the present elsewhere due to the aforementioned variations. As such, the scores Netflix is seeing on their web site are vastly completely different that these may in any other case have been ought to they’ve been capable of carry the true model of the present.
Netflix’s underestimation of the general worldwide viewer-ship and recognition of High Gear relies on inaccurate assumptions utilizing flawed viewer-ship knowledge. This oversight has meant that they’ve misplaced out on the chance to capitalize on a really uncommon and helpful confluence of occasions. With their aim of increasing all over the world there are few exhibits with such common attraction which may have helped Netflix’s growth as simply as High Gear. This choice is a large lose for Netflix and each viewer of High Gear all over the world.