Jeremy Clarkson has fired back at Netflix’s claim that his new show, “The Grand Tour,” cost Amazon a whopping $250 million.
“Amazon spent far less than Netflix would have you believe,” Clarkson told CNN. “It’s no way near as expensive as people have been saying.”
Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos recently told The Telegraph that “The Grand Tour,” starring Clarkson and the “Top Gear” team, cost Amazon “about a quarter of a billion dollars.” The FT had previously reported that Amazon had paid $250 million for three seasons of the show.
Clarkson disputes that number. While he wouldn’t reveal how much the show actually cost, he said he knew the figure and it wasn’t close to $250 million.
The first episode of the show’s 12-episode first season dropped November 18.
The big rollout
“The Grand Tour” is a huge moment for Amazon in its bid to rival Netflix as the top producer of high-quality streaming content.
Netflix even mentioned the show in its most recent earnings report, saying the company assumed it would make Amazon “as global as YouTube and Netflix.” Amazon is poised to expand its video service to more than 200 countries, most likely starting in December, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon is doubling its spend on video content in the second half of this year, compared with last year, the company’s CFO, Brian Olsavsky, said previously. Amazon most recently disclosed its investment amount on video content back in 2014, when it spent $1.3 billion.
But while Amazon may want “The Grand Tour” as its calling card for an international rollout, Sarandos said, for Netflix, the price was just too high.
“We made a play for that show, definitely,” Sarandos told The Telegraph. “But we’ve had every season of ‘Top Gear’ on Netflix in most territories in the world, so we had a better sense than most of what the audience was for ‘Top Gear’ on our platform. We knew what it was worth.”
Netflix, for its part, plans to spend $6 billion on content in 2017.
Additional reporting by Eugene Kim.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.