Discovery Communications has formed a joint venture with TEN: The Enthusiast Network that brings together Discovery’s Velocity channel and TEN’s entire automotive digital, direct-to-consumer, social and live-event portfolio.
The JV will combine the linear network Velocity, MotorTrend.com, Motor Trend YouTube channel, Motor Trend OnDemand OTT service and TEN’s complete portfolio of automotive digital, social, live events and original content. The cumulative reach is more than 150 million auto superfans, spanning 50-plus brands across TV, digital, SVOD, social, print and live-event properties. With plans to add Velocity content to TEN’s Motor Trend OnDemand SVOD service, the JV will mark Discovery’s first direct-to-consumer push in the U.S. and a growth opportunity for the country’s top automotive video subscription service.
Discovery will take a majority controlling interest in the venture, with an option to acquire 100 percent in the future. Paul Guyardo, the chief commercial officer for Discovery Communications, will serve as CEO and chairman of the new venture’s board of directors in addition to his current responsibilities. Leading the new venture will be Scott Dickey, the president of TEN, and Bob Scanlon, who will be appointed as president of Velocity and TEN Video Content. Both Dickey and Scanlon will report to Guyardo.
“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 David Zaslav, the president and CEO of Discovery Communications. “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.”
“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,” said Guyardo. “It’s also about giving consumers OTT access to world-class automotive content on every screen.”
“Velocity is the fastest growing network on cable since launching in 2011 and is the number one television destination for automotive super fans, with a stable of experts and personalities that represent the most respected names in the car world,” said Scanlon. “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.”
“TEN’s automotive brands have become leaders in their categories by delivering a high quality, high engagement audience,” added Dickey. “We’ve made significant investments in digital, mobile, experiential and SVOD/direct-to-consumer. Working closely with Discovery, we believe these investments, combined with the appeal of Velocity, will allow us to collectively expand leadership in the multibillion-dollar automotive market.”