×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Discovery to Spin Off Velocity Channel Into Joint Venture With TEN’s Digital Auto Businesses

Discovery Communications is spinning off Velocity into a new joint venture with TEN: The Enthusiast Network, coupling the TV network with the digital and live-event businesses of TEN’s 20-plus automotive brands including Motor Trend and Hot Rod.

The venture — in which Discovery will have a majority controlling interest — will bring together Velocity and TEN’s entire automotive digital, direct-to-consumer, social and live event portfolio. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. TEN’s print businesses will not be part of the new venture, but the JV will have a commercial agreement for continued cross-promotion between the print magazines and digital properties.

Discovery plans to add content from Velocity’s nearly 7,000-hour library to TEN’s Motor Trend OnDemand subscription video-on-demand service, marking Discovery’s first direct-to-consumer push in the U.S. The Velocity channel is currently distributed to 73 million American pay-TV homes.

The parties will dub the joint venture TEN: A Discovery Communications Company, which will have a combined reach of more than 150 million automotive superfans and car buyers. The combined properties of the JV generate nearly 1 billion monthly social-video views.

News of the automotive JV with TEN comes just three days after Discovery announced an agreement to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive, home of Food Networks, HGTV and others, in a deal valued at $14.6 billion.

The new joint venture “brings together the most trusted media brands in the automotive industry to create a multiplatform business with the reach, talent, and consumer insights to nourish car enthusiasts on all devices,” David Zaslav, Discovery’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Last fall, Discovery invested $100 million to form Group Nine Media, a digital-media venture merging three startups backed by Lerer Hippeau Ventures (Thrillist, NowThis and the Dodo) with Discovery’s Seeker (formerly Discovery Digital Networks).

Paul Guyardo, Discovery’s chief commercial officer, will serve as chairman and CEO of TEN: A Discovery Communications Company in addition to his current responsibilities. Reporting to Guyardo will be Scott Dickey, president of TEN, and Bob Scanlon, who will be appointed president of Velocity and TEN Video Content.

“This venture is about giving advertisers the quintessential way to reach auto enthusiasts, prospective car buyers and an affluent male audience that buys a lot more than cars,” Guyardo said.

L.A.-based TEN, which is owned by GoldenTree Asset Management, has an option to sell its stake in the venture to Discovery at “fair market value” in the future. Overall, TEN operates 60-plus sites and 50 publications. Its auto group includes Motor Trend, Hot Rod, Roadkill, Automobile, Automotive.com, and IntelliChoice.

Motor Trend OnDemand — currently priced at $4.99 per month — is available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, Chromecast and Amazon connected-TV platforms. TEN says it has nearly 100,000 paying subs for the over-the-top service.

According to the companies, the expanded Motor Trend OnDemand will feature more than 2,000 hours of video, including original series such as “Roadkill,” “Head2Head,” “Dirt Everyday” and “Ignition” plus coverage of motorsports and live auto events. The SVOD service also will offer new original content featuring talent from series across TEN and Velocity, including “Wheeler Dealers,” “Bitchin’ Rides,” “Barrett-Jackson Live,” “FantomWorks,” “Speed Is the New Black,” “Iron Resurrection,” “The Auto Firm with Alex Vega,” and “Garage Squad.”

More Digital

  • apple music

    Verizon Bundles Apple Music With Top-Tier Unlimited Wireless Plans for No Extra Charge

    Verizon has expanded its ties to Apple — offering wireless subscribers on its two most expensive unlimited plans access to the Apple Music for no extra charge. Starting Jan. 17, Apple Music will be included in Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans, the telco announced Tuesday. For Apple, the bundling agreement promises to augment [...]

  • Infowars Alex Jones

    Roku Removes Infowars Channel Following Backlash

    Roku has taken the Infowars channel off its platform after the streaming device faced criticism for carrying the controversial program hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. “After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform,” stated the company’s tweet on [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Snap Inc

    Snap CFO Tim Stone to Leave Company

    Snapchat corporate parent Snap Inc. is facing another major executive departure: The company’s chief financial officer Tim Stone is on his way out, Snap revealed in a regulatory filing Tuesday afternoon. Stone will stay with the company to find a new candidate for his position for the time being, according to the filing. His last [...]

  • birdbox Sandra Bullock

    Will Netflix's Latest Price Hike Spur a Customer Backlash?

    Netflix is rolling out its biggest price increase to date — including hiking the standard HD plan from $10.99 to $12.99 per month — for all subscribers in the U.S. and parts of Latin America. The obvious risk: Some customers will see the higher prices as a reason to bail on Netflix, while there’s also [...]

  • Alex Jones Infowars

    Roku Faces Criticism Over Infowars Channel

    Streaming device maker Roku faced a backlash Tuesday over its decision to carry a channel for Infowars, the controversial website of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The company responded by saying that Infowars wasn’t currently violating its terms of use. The uproar over Roky carrying Infowars comes a few months after most other major platforms, [...]

  • BTS 'Burn the Stage: The Movie'

    BTS 'Burn the Stage: The Movie' Documentary Set to Hit YouTube Premium Service

    “Burn the Stage: The Movie,” a documentary following K-pop group BTS on their 2017 concert tour, will be streaming on the YouTube Premium subscription service starting this Friday. The movie is based on the previous YouTube original series “BTS: Burn the Stage.” Since its release in theaters worldwide last November, “Burn the Stage: The Movie” has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content