Discovery Launching New Channel for Upscale Males

Velocity, which will replace HD Theater later this year, will feature programming about cars, sports and leisure, adventure and travel.

Discovery Communications is launching a new network targeted upscale males later this year.

The network, dubbed Velocity, will replace HD Theater and will be in 40 million homes when it launches in the fourth quarter.

“Velocity continues Discovery’s tradition of maximizing the value of each of its cable platforms.  It is going to be a game changer when it officially joins our portfolio of U.S. networks later this year,” says David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications.  “As the first network devoted to the upscale men’s market, Velocity will be a hub for viewers within this key demographic, as well as the wealth of advertisers that target them.”

The programming, which will be entirely in high-definition, will primarily be centered around the genres of automotive, sports and leisure, adventure and travel.

“In the same way that a car once defined the person who drove it, Velocity will define the viewer who watches it,” says Robert S. Scanlon, svp of Velocity.  “Whether you are a car aficionado or just someone who prefers fast-paced, high-stakes television, Velocity will become a must-have entertainment destination.”

HD Theater's automotive series including Inside West Coast Customs and Chasing Classic Cars will reportedly be part of the initial lineup.

"We started noticing some good ratings with some of our more upscale lifestyle programming, especially in the auto arena, and we just felt let's keep building on that, now's the time," Discovery COO Peter Liguori told Broadcasting &Cable, adding that "this is a niche and an arena that television really doesn't cover that extensively, and it felt like an opportunity for us."

HD Theater vp production and development Bob Scanlon has reportedly been tapped as senior vp of the new channel.

Discovery Communications couldn't be reached for comment late Wednesday.