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Amazon preps global launch for The Grand Tour

the grand tourAmazon’s Top Gear rival The Grand Tour will hit 200 countries later this year, but the launch does not mark the global rollout of the Amazon Prime SVOD service, TBI understands.

The Grand Tour will launch in Amazon Prime Video territories Germany, Japan, the UK and the US this Friday (November 18), it was revealed in a video posted yesterday featuring the three-strong presenting team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

In that post Clarkson reads notes from angry fans outside of Amazon Prime Video territories complaining they will not be able to see The Grand Tour.

May then opens a letter purporting to be from Amazon and reads aloud: “In December we will be launching the show globally, which means you will be able to watch The Grand Tour in over 200 countries.”

Many market watchers had expected Amazon to use the launch of the motoring series to roll out Prime Video internationally

Amazon declined to comment, but it is understood that this is not the case, and the new original series will be available to buy or watch through the regular, transactional Amazon service, and not the full Prime Video offer.

In the YouTube video, May says: “When The Grand Tour launches worldwide, everyone will be able to catch up on the shows that have aired to date, and then get an episode every Friday on Amazon.”

Amazon is in the throes of buying programming for a soon to launch service in India – it will not, however, say exactly when it will roll out in the country – and further international rollouts will follow, putting Amazon on a more level footing with its chief streaming rival Netflix, which is carried worldwide.

At MIPCOM sources told TBI Amazon would be in about 30 territories by year-end. However, the company has steadfastly refused to comment on its international TV plans.

Amazon recruited the team behind the popular Top Gear show last year in the wake of a scandal that involved star presenter Jeremy Clarkson hitting a member of the production team.

Founder Jeff Bezos has alluded to the huge budget for the show, which sees Amazon move beyond kids and drama in terms of its original programming.