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BBC 'Top Gear' speeds into China with new deal

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 7/12/2016
Official Top Gear Season 23 Trailer #1 © Provided by AFPRelaxNews Official Top Gear Season 23 Trailer #1

Despite the controversies in 2015 and the subsequent departures of co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the new BBC "Top Gear" series has signed a deal with Shanghai Media Group to bring the car show's 24th season to China, it was revealed by Variety.

Now to be hosted by ex-"Friends" star Matt LeBlanc (after host Chris Evans left following just one season), the British "Top Gear" might not have the same cult appeal as previously, but is still a favorite among auto enthusiasts around the world. In a deal between BBC Worldwide and Shanghai Media Group's Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, 360 hours of the BBC's "Top Gear" shows will be available exclusively on BesTV platforms in China, which have over 26 million subscribers.

Additionally, the upcoming 24th cycle of the BBC show will be available from early 2017. Six seasons of "Top Gear Korea" and two seasons of "Top Gear China" are also included in the deal. "Top Gear" is the BBC Worldwide's best-selling factual show.

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