BBC, Honyee Media deal for Chinese Top Gear
| 27 May 2014
A Chinese version of the 'world's most watched factual TV programme' Top Gear is to be produced following a deal between BBC Worldwide and China's Honyee Media.
Production will start at the end of July, with the series premier set for early November 2014 on satellite network Shanghai Dragon TV and on the over-the-top (OTT) Internet video platform iqiyi.com.
According to the BBC, Shanghai Dragon TV was the third most watched satellite broadcaster in China in the first quarter of 2014, while Iqiyi.com is the country's most popular online video portal with over 313 million users each month accessing content for their personal computers and more than 99 million a month for their mobile devices.
"The Top Gear brand has huge potential in China. The UK version is a huge hit around the world and we are confident that Top Gear China will be just as successful and popular here," said Richard Zhang, general manager of Honyee Media.
The three presenters will be announced once filming begins, however features such as 'Star in a reasonably priced car' and a Chinese version of the character Stig will be included in the new show, which is expected to be filmed in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Chongqing, Guizhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Wuxi.
"We are delighted that Chinese viewers will be able to see its own local version with a unique spin to this much loved format," said Pierre Cheung, VP and GM of BBC Worldwide, Greater China. Top Gear has already been sold to over 200 territories, and holds a Guinness World Record for being the most watched television show in the world.
The Honyee Media conglomerate owns multiple media platforms, including a TV channel, magazines, and shopping sites. It will oversee advertising, brand promotion, television and online copyright sales of the series in China.