Cabler rebrands HD Theater channel

Discovery will rebrand its HD Theater cable channel to target an upscale male aud. Rebranded as Velocity, new programming will begin in Q4 2011. Discovery says that the new net will include more than 400 hours of programming.

Velocity, which with HD Theater’s current carriage will be available in 40 million homes, will feature plenty of programming for expensive car lovers, according to a reel of sample footage emailed to press on Thursday. Most of the material appeared to be unscripted and will focus on auto, sports and leisure, adventure, and travel genres, according to the network.

Some series currently on HD Theater will continue on the new net, notably “Inside West Coast Customs,” “Mecum Auto Auctions,” “Cafe Racer” and “Chasing Classic Cars”

Nets like Bravo and Oxygen have had success catering to an upscale femme viewership with commodity-focused unscripted programming, but the male demo is seen as more widely served, with Comedy Central among the top guy-centric cablers, and its brother net Spike branded to specificaly target males.

“Velocity continues Discovery’s tradition of maximizing the value of each of its cable platforms,” said Discovery CEO and prexy David Zaslav. “It is going to be a game changer when it officially joins our portfolio of U.S. networks later this year.”

Discovery will roll out more info on Velocity later today at its upfront in New York City.

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