TEN, Discovery Form Automotive JV

Discovery Communications and TEN The Enthusiast Network have formed a joint venture combining their automotive enthusiast video content, the companies announced Friday.

The new joint venture, called TEN: A Discovery Communications Company, will pool video content from TEN brands like Motor Trend, Roadkill and Automobile with Velocity, Discovery’s cable network targeting auto enthusiasts.

Discovery will become the controlling partner in the joint venture, which is a non-cash deal.

Velocity’s programming includes "Bitchin’ Rides," "Chasing Classic Cars," "Graveyard Carz," "The Auto Firm With Alex Vega" and "Iron Resurrection." Motor Trend’s video assets include its Web site, its YouTube channel, and Motor Trend OnDemand, its OTT service, which has attracted around 100,000 paying subscribers.

The deal also covers video TEN’s social media and live events, among other original content.

Altogether, the joint venture’s video library includes more than 9,000 hours of original video content. It also marks Discovery’s first direct-to-consumer OTT initiative in the U.S., with the addition of Velocity to the MotorTrend OnDemand subscription video service.

The deal does not include integration of TEN’s print brands. However, the partners touted potential cross-promotion with the iconic magazines.

The joint venture will offer both general market and endemic advertisers greater scale in the automotive enthusiast marketplace, a relatively affluent, mostly male and digital savvy target audience.

Velocity claims to be available in 73 million homes. Motor Trend’s YouTube channel has more than 5 million subscribers and around 1.5 billion combined views. Together, the joint venture partners claim to reach over 150 million automotive fans and more than 50 brands, including social medial channels and events.

Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav stated: “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." The goal is "owning the car vertical across all platforms.”

Ten CEO Scott Dickey added: “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.”

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