Is this really to do with tech? Possibly, as this is a presenter who worked on a show that brought you a pickup truck attempting to drive through the English Channel, building your very own vehicle in the case of a Kit car and nearly freezing to death while navigating themselves to the magnetic north pole in an adapted Toyota.
If you haven’t heard, Jeremy Clarkson has left Top Gear after allegedly lamping a producer over a Prawn Sandwich. It was thought that Clarkson, May and Hammond have a clause in their contract which states that they will be unable to work for any other UK competitive channel until at least 2017. But there might be a workaround after lawyers found that it could be possible to broadcast a car style show in the US, before selling the rights to the program back to for example ITV or Channel 4.
It’s like Geo Blocking within web content, if you are inside a country which restricts access then you cannot view a program, but if you are somewhere else, then technically you are not inside the same place where it was banned. This may also be interesting in the future if program makers decide to sell their shows to Internet TV sites for example Netflix. If a company sells a show, for example to BBC 2, but then sells the same show to Netflix which is an American company, and then allowing viewers to watch said program in the same place where rights have already been sold to a broadcaster, this could be a headache for normal TV channels if they paid for an exclusive and it’s not.
As tech has shifted, so has the wider issue of TV itself, will there be a BBC or ITV in the future if digital content is ubiquitous?
So the question is, has he or hasn’t he? The BBC have said that no final decision has been made. If this does turn out to be true, there is still no word on what will happen to the future of the show, or the live show or in fact whether James May or Richard Hammond will carry on without their co-host and close friend.
UPDATE: A Telegraph online poll asking if viewers would still watch Top Gear without the famous trio of presenters finds 90% saying “No”
UPDATE 14:08 GMT: Jeremy Clarkson has officially been fired. Director General Tony Hall has confirmed with the following statement:
It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon.
I am grateful to Ken MacQuarrie for the thorough way he has conducted an investigation of the incident on 4th March. Given the obvious and very genuine public interest in this I am publishing the findings of his report. I take no pleasure in doing so. I am only making them public so people can better understand the background. I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion. The main facts are not disputed by those involved.