But not in the way you might think. The Amazon Prime hit series has become the most illegally downloaded show in history. That means that not even shows like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead can beat it-when it comes to piracy. An estimated 7.9 million illegal downloads have taken place for the first episode and counting, and that’s not including sources unaccounted for. What does this all mean?
Well for one it means that Top Gear is old news and no one cares about it. No records are being broken with that program from even legitimate viewers. The Grand Tour has officially surpassed Top Gear and lapped it like 100x times in the same race. This is troubling news for the BBC, as they have millions invested in the franchise. Top Gear seems to be on its way out and is no longer the preferred show for car enthusiasts. Even limited run shows like Ride with Norman Reedus is taking some viewers away from Top Gear, leaving them with mere scraps. And if you have doubt on this being a hit to Top Gear, a good portion of the pirates have turned out to be from the U.K. area!
But this isn’t all good news for the network, since it also means Amazon is losing money with the piracy. Prime membership comes out to just under a hundred per year if customers don’t choose the monthly option, so it is close to Netflix and Hulu in price. This is costing the company millions on one of their most expensive shows to produce. How they handle it will set the tone for the rest of their programs, since there is no way cable/dish providers will be helping them to catch the illegal downloaders.
Will the illegal downloading cause problems with the show? What is the future of Top Gear?