Discovery revs up Turbo

Spin-off site to feature 250 short-form clips

Discovery Communications, which has created such brands as TLC and Animal Planet, has another on the drawing boards called Turbo.

What’s unusual about Turbo — which will be feature programming about bikes, hot rods and everything else that’s motorized — is that Discovery has no plans to turn it into a 24/7 cable network like TLC and Animal Planet.

Instead, Turbo will start on July 4 as a Turbo.com, a broadband Web site chock full of more than 250 short-form clips that people will be able to watch on their computers through streaming video. These clips range from actual races to news and information about cars.

In the fourth quarter, Discovery will offer to cable operators another form of Turbo called Turbo on Demand, a destination for TV viewers who want to call up at their leisure both full episodes and short clips from Discovery series like “American Chopper,” “Monster Garage,” “American Hot Rod” and “Overhaulin’.”

While continuing in broadband and video on demand, Turbo will become the name of a branded programming block on TLC in December. The linchpin of the turbo block will be “American Chopper,” which moves from Discovery to TLC, bringing with it fresh episodes to start in December.

“Chopper” joins with TLC’s ongoing vehicle-makeover series “Overhaulin'” in the Turbo block, and there’ll be a new, still-in-development 60-minute series to round out the three-hour lineup.

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