Bell Media rebrands Discovery World as ‘Velocity’

Discovery Velocity is targeting a male demo with its focus on automotive programming.
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Bell Media has announced it is rebranding Discovery World as Discovery Velocity and putting a focus on automotive programming along with adventure travel content.

Programming to date includes live broadcasts of Barrett-Jackson, the famous collector car auction, new seasons of Wheeler Dealers, about a car enthusiast and mechanic who refurbish run-down classic automobiles and sell them, as well as Classic Car Rescue, Canada’s Worst Driver and How it’s Made: Dream Cars.

Like its sister channels, Discovery Velocity will feature original Canadian programming, with the channel accepting automotive themed pitches, confirms Edwina Follows, ‎director, commissioning and production, Discovery Networks Canada.

“We also hope to work jointly with our partners at Velocity in the U.S. to create programs developed by Canadian producers,” she said. “We’ve done this successfully with other Discovery projects, like Vegas Rat Rods, for example.”

Discovery World in Canada was a reincarnation of Discovery HD Theatre, which was originally Discovery Channel HD, a simulcast feed of Discovery Channel broadcast in a widescreen format. Discovery Channel HD first launched in 2003.

Discovery Velocity borrows its moniker from Discovery Communications’ U.S. channel, Velocity, which was launched in 2011 to replace Discovery HD Theatre there with a channel focused on high-end automobiles, sports and other male-focused programs.

The new channel launches Feb. 12 with a 48-day free preview. Online, DiscoveryWorld.ca will become DiscoveryVelocity.ca on Feb 2.

“The decision to rebrand to Discovery Velocity is motivated by our viewers’ desire for Factual Turbo programming on our channels, a gap in the Canadian marketplace, and proven success for the brand outside the country,” Paul Lewis, president and GM, Discovery, said in a statement. 

The Canadian market had been lacking an auto-focused channel since U.S.-based Speed shut down in 2013 and its auto shows, along with racing coverage, moved to Fox Sports 1 and 2. The channel was not converted in Canada, with Canadian providers continuing to carry Speed featuring simulcasts from Fox Sports programming as well as re-runs of factual programs. Rogers, Bell and Cogeco have since dropped the channel from their lineups.

From Media in Canada