People/Biz

Velocity, TEN pen automotive joint venture

Discovery Communications-owned motoring network Velocity has linked with TEN: The Enthusiast Network in an effort to promote automotive content on all platforms. The venture will look to create an automotive media empire ...
August 4, 2017

Discovery Communications-owned motoring network Velocity has linked with TEN: The Enthusiast Network in an effort to promote automotive content on all platforms.

The venture will look to create an automotive media empire within the U.S. that will provide “an unrivaled destination for automotive enthusiasts, auto buyers and advertisers,” said Discovery, in a statement.

The partnership will see Velocity joining TEN’s available on-demand automotive services across the direct-to-consumer, social and live portfolio. TEN’s network of offerings includes SVOD service Motor Trend OnDemand, as well as cross-platform publications Roadkill, Hot Rod, Ignition and Automobile, along with more than 20 others.

The JV will now offer a combined reach of more than 150-million automotive fans and car buyers, and marks Discovery’s first direct-to-consumer OTT push in the U.S. with the addition of Motor Trend OnDemand, which services nearly 100,000 paying subscribers.

The SVOD service features such original series as Roadkill, Head2Head, Dirt Everyday and Ignition, alongside motorsports and live auto event content. Moving forward, Motor Trend will also showcase talent from across the Velocity brand, including Bitchin’ Rides, Wheeler Dealers (pictured), Speed Is the New Black and Garage Squad.

Motor Trend’s YouTube service, meanwhile, boasts five-plus million subscribers and nearly 1.5 billion cumulative video views.

“Continuing with Discovery’s strategy to reach superfans on all platforms in popular and durable content categories, this 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,” said Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav in a statement. “By combining popular brands like Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Velocity, this venture will create a content engine that fuels not only our linear platform but also new direct-to-consumer, social and mobile opportunities with the goal of owning the car vertical across all platforms.”

Discovery Communications’ Paul Guyardo will serve as CEO and chair of the new venture’s board of directors in addition to his current responsibilities as chief commercial officer.

Leading the endeavor will be TEN president Scott Dickey and Bob Scanlon, who will be appointed president of Velocity and TEN Video Content. Both Dickey and Scanlon will report to Guyardo.

Discovery will take a majority stake in the venture and will have the future option to acquire 100% of the new deal which will be called TEN: A Discovery Communications Company once the transaction closes. TEN, meanwhile, will also be provided with the option to put its stake in the venture to Discovery at fair market value.

“By combining Velocity and TEN’s high-quality content, wide-reaching talented hosts and comprehensive production expertise, we are creating a powerhouse of short-, mid- and long-form content for the passionate and growing base of automotive super fans in the U.S. and around the world,” added Scanlon.

The venture marks the latest move made by Discovery Communications this week after announcing Monday that it would be buying Scripps Networks Interactive for US$14.6 billion in a cash and stock transaction in an attempt to build a “global content engine”. That deal is expected to close by early 2018.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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