Net will cater to men with discretionary income

Discovery is looking to speed things up with Velocity.

The male-focused net is set to launch Oct. 4 as Discovery believes there’s an opening in the TV landscape for a channel that will attract guys with extra income.

Discovery has several nets around the world that fill the niche and the conglom’s topper David Zaslav believes its time to share that programming, along with a handful of originals, to Stateside auds.

“It’ll be cars, boats, poker, motorcycles and cigars,” Zaslav told Variety. “It’ll be fun and irreverent. This is about men and where they want to spend their money.”

Zaslav and his exec team are counting on advertisers that spend billions on pro football and other high-profile sports — think those shopping cars, alcohol and entertainment — to be willing to offer their wares on Velocity.

Velocity and CBS are teaming up to air the inaugural Epic Poker League in the fall (Daily Variety, July 26). A series of events will be taped at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas.

As for TLC, which caters to femmes, Zaslav said, “We’re in a good space with the brand.”

Net is launching a handful of series in the fall, including “All-American Muslim.” Hourlong skein, set to debut Oct. 13, is slated for eight episodes and examines the Muslim community in Dearborn, Mich., through the lives of five Muslim families.

“There were some reservations,” said Mike Jaafar, one of those featured in the show, when asked if he believed if those watching would think poorly of him and his family. “We felt we are in this to send a positive message to the world that we are proud to be an American family. I had a detailed and frank conversation with TLC to see what this show was going to be about.”

Zaslav said TLC’s sweet spot remains in the heartland.

“When we think about TLC, we don’t think about New York or L.A., although we have a lot of fans there,” he said. “The heart of TLC is middle America.”

And as for any second thoughts about bringing politics to TLC with “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”?

“Sarah Palin really belonged on the network,” he said. “She is a great character and we don’t shy away from where the brand takes us.”

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