Amazon's Netflix-gnasher to hit top gear In December

Clarkson & Pals' Grand Tour will stream into 200 nations before Christmas

Amazon.com looks like it is about to wade deeper into competition with Netflix, by making at least one of its new self-produced programs available for viewing around the world.

At about the 45-second mark of the video below, James May of new "Amazon Original" The Grand Tour says “In December we will be launching the show globally which means you will be able to watch … in over 200 countries around the world.”

The Grand Tour retains most of the talent from the BBC's global hit Top Gear and has become Amazon's flagship as it seeks to create a global entertainment business. But at the time of writing, Amazon's video service only operates in a handful of countries.

Announcing that The Grand Tour is ready to roll through 200 nations suggests that Amazon has made the necessary investments to offer streamed video around the world. And even though Amazon.com is rather close to a provider of the necessary infrastructure - sibling Amazon Web Services - it is hard to imagine it would go to all the trouble of global rollout just so that customers can enjoy Clarkson & Co.

Whatever Amazon is up to, it's likely to be of interest to carriers around the world. Netflix is known to have done lots of peering deals to ensure its content doesn't inconvenience carriers. Amazon provides Netflix's infrastructure, so is almost certainly aware of how to get plenty of the pieces in place for a global streaming effort without panicking local carriers.

A December launch also hints at a festive offering from Amazon and a choice between the insatiable lust for power courtesy of House of Cards' Frank Underwood and the insufferable smugness of Jeremy Clarkson. ®


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