The Nine Network has won the rights to Top Gear following a deal with BBC Worldwide Australia.
The deal includes both Top Gear Australia from Freehand and the UK series.
PBL Media already has the rights to the magazine and website topgear.com/au
“We are thrilled to create a unified home for the Top Gear brand in Australia” said Julie Dowding, BBC Worldwide Australia’s Sales Director. “This country is Top Gear’s biggest territory outside the UK. We greatly look forward to developing its potential with a long-standing partner like Nine.”
David Gyngell , Chief Executive of the Nine Network, described the Top Gear agreement as a landmark partnership with BBC Worldwide.
“We are absolutely delighted to be working together with one of the world’s great broadcasting powerhouses on a program of this quality and wide appeal,” he said. “Top Gear is quite simply an outstanding television product, and linking the experience and expertise of BBC Worldwide with the proven capacity of the Nine Network is a great outcome.”
“We are genuinely excited to have Top Gear under the Nine banner and look forward to bringing it to an even wider audience,” he added.
But for SBS the news was bitter.
SBS Managing Director Shaun Brown said: “It is disappointing that a brand SBS has spent many years building is moving to a commercial network.
“SBS was the only Australian network brave enough to take on the irreverent series in 2005 and we have built it into successful event television with a dedicated audience. We are proud of what we have achieved with Top Gear.
“SBS, with its limited resources, lives with the knowledge that while it can discover and develop great programs and events, it cannot always defend them from the aggressive bids of well-heeled competitors.”
SBS will not comment further.