A new business deal signed between the BBC on the one hand and Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman on the other could see the vast expansion of the Top Gear brand worldwide. The deal involves BBC Worldwide, the international commercial arm of the government-owned television network, taking a majority stake in Badder 6. The latter is a company set up by Clarkson and Wilman two years ago for reasons unknown, but will now act to channel all revenues from the Top Gear brand back to the BBC, Clarkson and Wilman.

The deal is seen as a necessity to keep Clarkson happy so he'll remain on the show amidst offers from competing networks and producers for the world's most famous automotive journalist. Badder 6, which now includes three top-level BBC Worldwide executives, will be responsible for managing the marketing of Top Gear around the world, including the magazine, the original British television program, the new program for the United States undertaken by NBC, an additional new series for Australia, and all related merchandising opportunities. Now reaping the rewards for his efforts, Clarkson will act in a direct capacity as the figurehead for the Top Gear brand around the world. Although the deal did not involve his co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May, the pair are reported to have secured more lucrative deals themselves in light of Clarkson's new arrangement.

[Source: The Guardian via Inside Line]