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Velocity, Motor Trend Named New North America TV Partner

Discovery Inc.-owned Velocity inks long-term deal to become new North American home of FIA World Endurance Championship…

Velocity will become the new home for the FIA World Endurance Championship in North America, with the Discovery Inc.-owned network set to broadcast all rounds of the series, as well as comprehensive live coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A new long-term broadcast partnership was confirmed on Wednesday, which will see the cable and satellite network take over from FOX Sports, which elected to not renew its deal with the WEC for 2018.

The agreement also includes live streaming of all qualifying sessions and races on the Motor Trend app and on its Web site. 

Live coverage will begin with next month’s season-opening Six Hours of Spa, featuring Eurosport commentary, leading up to flag-to-flag coverage of Le Mans and going through the entire 2018-19 season.

“Without question the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the most iconic auto racing event in the world,” said Robert S. Scanlon, President of Velocity and TEN Video Content. 

“Eurosport produces world-class live coverage of the event every year. Nowhere else in the U.S. or Canada can fans access their best-in-class coverage, and get a broader, richer Le Mans experience than with Velocity on television, MotorTrend.com online and the Motor Trend app on connected devices.”

WEC CEO Gerard Neveu added: “We are very happy to have reached this agreement with Velocity, a channel which is available to more than half the households throughout the USA.

“The USA is a key market for the WEC and over 65 million people will now have access to it, offering our sport of endurance racing an extraordinary opportunity to engage with mass audiences.”

Discovery announced last week that Velocity will be re-branded to Motor Trend Network this fall, as part of a push for live motorsports programming.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Lew

    April 18, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    So only the first and last hour of non-LeMans events will be televised, the rest of the race will be on M-T.com, is that a pay site? And interesting that Velocity is becoming M-T, now maybe they’ll get something other than crappy “we only have 3 days to do it” programming…

    • Jason G.

      April 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      The motortrend premium plan which you need to view live or replays of races. The monthly plan is $4.99 and yearly plan $49.99. Which isn’t a bad deal considering the amount of racing series you can watch. Better than anything cable has to offer that’s for sure.

      • Andrew

        April 18, 2018 at 11:20 pm

        Jason question. I’ve been new to MTOD but signed up to watch for the Blancpain series after NISMO youtube stopped showing it this year. I know they have live races, but other than silly shortend recaps of 2017 races, i can’t find ANY replays of 2018 races. I’m worried that might be the case for those of us who can’t watch WEC live…

        • Jason G.

          April 19, 2018 at 6:55 am

          Not to sure, I’ve only been signed up for a month or so.

        • N8

          April 19, 2018 at 1:40 pm

          I really, really, REALLY recommend the WEC stream. The on demand replays are done hour-by-hour and they’re posted as soon as each hour elapses. You can start watching from the start while the race is still underway if you get up late.

          Last year, WEC subscription was only ~$35USD for the year w/ Le Mans. That’s only (7) months of MTOD, so if you’re only using it for WEC, their platform is a better value anyway.

    • Ray smith

      April 18, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      That’s a great story. I well wish velocity network the of luck with the coverage.

    • Matt

      April 18, 2018 at 11:33 pm

      Where does it say that only the first and last hour of these events will be broadcast? It seems like Velocity will broadcast the races in full.

      • terrrrrible

        April 19, 2018 at 8:09 am

        I see nothing about only the first and last half hour of the races, but that “flag-to-flag coverage” noted applies to the 24h Le Mans. I really do hope that the races are broadcast in full, then I can just DVR the races and watch them at my own pace the next day.

      • Mark - Toronto

        April 19, 2018 at 8:24 am

        There is a detailed broadcast schedule out there that verifies only the fist and last hour of events will be on the cable channel. The exception being Le Mans. Everything else is live stream only.

        From what I hear, that may mirror the Eurosport coverage in terms of their satellite channel (as opposed to web coverage).

        As an aside – I recognize the Motor Trend app is only $50US, but I’m already paying for another motorsport streaming service. As racing series find OTT homes on varying sites, this is starting to add up. Yes the available variety is better. There are series we didn’t have the opportunity to watch before in all markets. But this is a challenge with decline of the traditional television medium.

        • Rus'L

          April 19, 2018 at 12:30 pm

          Correct. Another racing site lists the broadcast schedule after their article, and it clearly states for all non-Le Mans rounds, only the first and last hour are being shown on Velocity. The middle four hours will stream on the MotorTrend website.

          The only exception is possibly Sebring. It’s stated as “Live coverage on Velocity,” just like Le Mans is listed.

          • Mark - Toronto

            April 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

            Sorry – you’re correct! Sebring was the other exception.

  2. J.C.

    April 18, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Damn… I don’t get this channel. I get FoxSports 1 & 2 one less thing for me to watch on those channels. Now the only thing for me to watch on FoxSports is IMSA, or the Yankees lol

  3. Marc

    April 18, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Good thing for the WEC streaming plan! And let’s be honest, you get commercial free coverage of all race weekends with RLM commentary. Why settle for anything less..

    • Kris

      April 19, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Unfortunatly last season was no the RLM commentary…

    • Dude

      May 15, 2018 at 10:26 am

      WEC stream is geo-blocked in USA.

  4. AMGMerc

    April 18, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    I see Velocity/MotorTrend, becoming a newer sleeker version of the old Speedvision network, which I sorely miss, as it was the only access we on this side of the Atlantic had of Euro Motorsports. That network went to crap the minute Fox bought them, and took on the NASCRAP coverage.

    • Parker

      April 19, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      I’d rather see Velocity turn in to Eurosport.

      • Rus'L

        April 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

        Well, Discovery does own Eurosport…

  5. Peter Tabmow

    April 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

    If my cable package includes Velocity, is there a chance that streaming will be free via my cable provider?

    • Parker

      April 19, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      I have DirecTV Now which includes Velocity but doesn’t include access to the app. I do wish that the FIA WEC would create an app for Apple TV with live streaming.

      • Peter Tabmow

        April 19, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        I’m not talking about a mobile app, but rather streaming on my desktop machine. Any insights out there?

        • Mark - Toronto

          April 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm

          The short answer appears to be no.

          The longer answer – the streaming app (or account if you wish) is a separate pay service, whether used mobile or on a desktop. Remember that Motor Trend is (was) not Discovery/Velocity.

          But then it gets complicated. It seems Discovery plans on spinning off Velocity into a joint venture with TEN (the entity that apparently provides much of the content for Motor Trend anyway). As mentioned above in the article – the channel name will actually change to Motor Trend Network. So – in the future is it possible that having the channel will gain you free access to the stream? Maybe. But then when was the last time something went FROM pay to free.

          • Peter Tabmow

            April 19, 2018 at 2:31 pm

            Thanks, Mark, very helpful.

          • John

            April 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

            I certainly hope that the DTVN credentials will be changed to grant access to the MT app as part of the rebranding.

            As many DTVN subscribers probably know, those credentials are an important backup for the times when the main service has issues, and one has to resort to a channel’s own app to watch.

            Though it would be nice to have full coverage of all the races, I’m not going to cry in my beer because I won’t be able to see the cars run behind the SC in the Fuji fog or Shanghai smog for the middle stints. At least the endurance events will get full coverage on the broadcast channel.

        • Parker

          April 19, 2018 at 3:51 pm

          I wasn’t talking about a mobile app but the app on Apple TV where you log in with your streaming/cable/satellite credentials.

          • Rus'L

            April 20, 2018 at 12:55 pm

            It’s the same thing, whether from a mobile app, a PC or Apple TV. Online streaming is different than the cable channel in that certain cable providers do not provide the online streaming of the same channel (for instance, my Spectrum package gives me all the Turner stations (TNT, TBS, etc.), but not access to any of their online streaming). It doesn’t matter how it is streamed, only that it is streamed.

  6. Jim-ski

    April 19, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I dont find this good news-a last resort maybe. Remember the old IRL was a Velocity channel sport, and that wasnt looked upon as a positive. I dont get this channel now. More $ for it & MT as well. Poor choices made for NA fans.

    • Rus'L

      April 19, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      In all honesty, I don’t think they had a choice. Nobody was going to pay for it, and WEC probably didn’t want to spend the money higher prestige channels wanted to buy the time.

  7. Mark - Toronto

    April 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    There is a plus here that may be overlooked. The article refers to the re-branded Motor Trend Network pushing for live motorsports programming.” So for those of us with Velocity now – that’s only good news.

  8. Chris G

    June 1, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Sad …two weeks to go and Velocity is still unavailable to me and WEC promotion nonexistent on MT.com and all Discovery sites and channels except Eurosport. Not good if WEC was hoping to expand viewership.
    unclear as to the way Velocity will broadcast the race. is it 24 hours on Velocity. will it be live on the Velocity App will it simulcast on the motortrend site. In car cams, unknown. live timing, unknown.

    Geoblocking the app simply has alienated loyal subscribers.

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