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No Cable Needed: Discovery Bows TestTube Online Network

Programmer launches ad-supported MCN out of Revision3 unit with 15 original series aimed at young men

Looking to boost its reach beyond legacy pay TV, Discovery Communications has launched TestTube, an ad-supported, free-to-consumer network aimed at young males, stocked with 15 original series.

TestTube series will include: daily science show “DNews”; “Distort,” featuring slow-motion footage; “Laci Green’s Sex+” about human sexuality; “Shots of Awe,” hosted by Jason Silva; “Stuff You Should Know”; the weekly “Thanks, Disaster” about the silver lining of catastrophic events; and “Nature Hates You,” with footage from Discovery’s archives showing how “Mother Nature can and will mess you up.”

Coming later this summer is “Blow It Up!” hosted by Tory Belleci from Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters.”

Discovery expects TestTube to generate about 10 million video views monthly out of the gate, and hopes to double that with additional content by the end of 2013. The company is launching the online network out of its Revision3 division, which Discovery acquired last May in a deal reported to be worth between $30 million and $40 million.

“This is another step in our mission to be the No. 1 nonfiction video and media company on all screens,” said Discovery chief digital officer JB Perrette said.  are growing new audiences with TestTube and other digital networks that are creating great content that entertains and engages.”

In addition to TestTube.com, Discovery is distributing shows initially via YouTube. The programmer plans to extend that to Microsoft Xbox, Apple TV, Roku boxes, TiVo DVRs and on smartphones and tablets devices including iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

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