RTL has acquired the Top Gear reboot for its digital channel RTL Nitro.
The deal sees the Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc version of car series move to the RTL net from Discovery’s DMax, which licensed the older Clarkson, May and Hammond-fronted seasons, with that channel still holding rights to that incarnation of the show.
Top Gear has been one of BBC Worldwide’s best selling shows. The commercial arm of the BBC struck the RTL deal, which will see the show dubbed and go out on free TV in primetime.
There is a particular appeal for German viewers with German racing driver Sabine Schmitz now part of the presenting team.
The new Top Gear has grown its ratings after a slow start and generally unfavourable critical reaction.
Oliver Schablitzki, channel director, RTL Nitro said: “With the acquisition of Top Gear RTL Nitro acquires an international icon for male-skewed television. The new series with the team around Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc has had the best series launch for ten years – this is proof of the quality entertainment of the show.”
Tobi de Graaff, executive VP, Western Europe, BBCWW: “BBC Worldwide is committed to bringing the best entertainment content to German audiences, so I am particularly pleased that Top Gear has found a new home with RTL Nitro.
“Having previously licensed former series of Top Gear UK as well as Top Gear USA it is fantastic to know that the brand will go from strength to strength in Germany through its new residence on RTL Nitro.”
The German sales follows yesterday’s news that the US version of Top Gear has been cancelled by cable net History after six seasons.