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A Channel Woos the Man With Spare Cash for Toys
19 Sep 2011 EDT - The New York Times
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When Discovery Communications set out to reformat HD Theater, the nine-year-old home of high-definition documentaries, its executives assessed the crowded cable programming landscape and asked what was missing — where there was “white space,” as one later put it.

What was missing, they decided, was a channel for the Rich Man — the successful, college-educated man who earns $150,000 or more a year and who wants to know how to spend his time and money.

That’s how Velocity was hatched. Replacing the low-rated HD Theater on Oct. 4, Velocity is being billed as a high-end men’s lifestyle channel about fast cars, fancy auctions and football stars. On Monday, the channel will announce that its first three months will feature 140 hours of programming premieres, a high number that reflects the channel’s need to be sampled by its chosen demographic.

“The biggest challenge,” said Robert S. Scanlon, the executive in charge of Velocity, “is to get the word out — to explain what we are in 30 seconds or less.” To get attention, the channel has collaborated with NFL Films to create two football-themed series and has conceived several nights’ worth of car programming.

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