Motor Trend
CountryUnited States
HeadquartersEl Segundo, California
Picture format1080i HDTV
OwnerTNT Sports
ParentMotor Trend Group
Sister channels
LaunchedJune 17, 2002; 22 years ago (2002-06-17)
Former names
  • Discovery HD Theater
  • (2002–2007)
  • HD Theater
  • (2007–2011)
  • Velocity
  • (2011–2018)
Streaming media
Affiliated Streaming ServiceMax
Service(s)FuboTV, Philo, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, Vidgo

Motor Trend is an American Automotive television network owned by Motor Trend Group, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. DiscoveryIt primarily broadcasts automotive-themed programming, including motorsports events.

It was originally founded in 2002 as Discovery HD Theater (later HD Theater), the first 24/7 high-definition basic cable network. It featured high-definition programming from its other channels. Redundant after the introduction of high-definition simulcasts for Discovery's networks, it re-launched in 2011 as Velocity—an "upscale male" network primarily featuring automotive programming. Following Discovery's acquisition of a majority stake in the magazine's publisher, it was announced that Velocity would rebrand as Motor Trend on November 23, 2018, as a brand extension of the automotive magazine Motor Trend.

As of November 2023, MT is available to approximately 65,000,000 pay television households in the United States-down from its 2017 peak of 74,000,000 households.[1]


The network launched nationwide in the United States on June 17, 2002, as Discovery HD Theater;[2] and was the first 24/7 basic cable HD network in the US.[3] The channel was rebranded to HD Theater on September 22, 2007. Programming included shows from Discovery sister networks, such as American Chopper and Animal Planet's Corwin's Quest, in addition to original programming such as Sunrise Earth (which featured footage of outdoor scenes with no narration),[4] and history-focused titles such as When Dinosaurs Roamed America and Before We Ruled the Earth.[5]

As Velocity

By 2011, as high definition feeds of mainstream networks had become more common, HD Theater no longer filled a unique niche.[6] On April 14, 2011, Discovery Communications announced that HD Theater would be re-launched as Velocity later in the year; the re-launch took place on October 4, 2011.[7] The network focused primarily on automotive-oriented programming and other shows of interest to an "upscale male" audience.[8][9][10]

As Motor Trend

On August 3, 2017, Discovery announced that it would contribute Velocity into a joint venture with the digital, live events, and direct-to-consumer businesses of automotive publisher TEN: The Enthusiast Network. Discovery will hold a majority stake in the venture.[11]

In April 2018, it was announced that TEN had been renamed the Motor Trend Group, and that Velocity would rebrand to Motor Trend Network later in 2018. Co-branded with the automotive magazine Motor Trend, the rebranding is part of an effort by Discovery, following its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, to focus more on direct-to-consumer offerings targeting niche topics with "passionate" audiences. Motor Trend already operates the subscription video-on-demand service Motor Trend OnDemand, and had plotted out international expansion (including a British launch of Motor Trend OnDemand in the UK in December 2017, and a forthcoming over-the-air Motor Trend television channel in Italy.[12][13][14]

Velocity officially rebranded as Motor Trend on November 23, 2018.[15]

International versions

In Canada, Discovery Velocity launched on February 12, 2015. The channel was, originally, the Canadian version of Discovery HD Theater, and had been branded as Discovery World immediately prior.[16]

In some markets, Discovery operates similarly-themed channels known as Discovery Turbo (Asia-Pacific, Latin America, UK/Ireland), DTX (Europe, except UK/Ireland), and Motor Trend (Italy), which feature a similar focus on automotive-themed programs.


As Discovery HD Theater

As Velocity/Motor Trend

Event coverage

In 2015, Motor Trend (then known as Velocity) and Discovery Channel acquired the broadcast rights to Barrett-Jackson's automobile auctions, previously held by Fox Sports. Mike Joy, Chris Jacobs, and Ray Evernham host the Barrett-Jackson Live broadcasts on the two channels.[17]

In April 2018, it was announced that Discovery and Motor Trend Group had acquired the North American broadcast rights to the FIA World Endurance Championship, beginning with the 2018-19 "super season", also replacing Fox Sports. The first and last hours of most events are televised by Motor Trend (with the entire events streaming on Motor Trend digital platforms), and there is live flag-to-flag television coverage of the 1000 Miles of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans. The broadcasts are produced by Eurosport, Discovery's pan-European sports network.[18][19]




  1. ^ "U.S. cable network households (universe), 1990 – 2023". May 14, 2024. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Sherrard, Kevin (April 16, 2002). "Discovery to Launch HD Theater". HDTV in Oklahoma.
  3. ^ "Cablevision News Releases & Press Releases | Cablevision Cable TV". Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  4. ^ Mcknight, Jenna M. (2006-10-15). "The Sun Always Rises on HDTV". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  5. ^ Inc., Discovery Communications. "Discovery Communications, Inc. Launches Discovery HD Theater (TM), A New 24-Hour High-Definition Television Channel". Retrieved 2016-05-15. ((cite web)): |last= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ "CHANGING CHANNELS: HI to H2, HDTheater to Velocity". Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  7. ^ Richmond, Ray (July 29, 2011). "TCA: Discovery Sets Launch Date For Velocity, Adds Big Names to 'Curiosity', Preps Science Channel's 'Trek Nation', Introduces 'Weed' Team". Deadline Hollywood.
  8. ^ Gorman, Bill (April 14, 2011). "Discovery Communications Introduces Velocity — A Turbocharged Network For An Upscale Male Audience". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017.
  9. ^ D.M. Levine (April 18, 2011). "Discovery Launches Velocity Channel, Aimed at Rich Men". Adweek.
  10. ^ Lawler, Richard (Apr 14, 2011). "Discovery HD Theater is becoming Velocity, focuses on programming for 'upscale male audience'". Engadget.
  11. ^ Evans, Greg (August 3, 2017). "Discovery Communications Partners With TEN Network For Auto Portfolio". Deadline. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (2018-04-10). "Discovery Rebrands Velocity As Motor Trend Network". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  13. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2018-04-10). "Discovery Rebrands Velocity as Motor Trend Network (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  14. ^ "Discovery Launches 'Motor Trend On Demand' in UK on Amazon Channels". Multichannel. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  15. ^ Hayes, Dade (2018-11-13). "Discovery's Velocity Network Sets Date For Motor Trend Rebrand". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  16. ^ "High Stakes Adventure, Precision Machines, Raw Power: Specialty Service Discovery Velocity Launches February 12". Press release. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Discovery and Velocity Channels Name New 'Barrett-Jackson Live' On-Air Team (Exclusive Video)". 19 December 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  18. ^ "World Endurance Championship inks new broadcast agreement with Velocity, Motor Trend". Autoweek. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  19. ^ "Velocity, Motor Trend Named New North America TV Partner". Sportscar365. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  20. ^ "MotorTrend Greenlights First Reality Competition Series "Bitchin' Boot Camp"" (Press release). Motor Trend. October 22, 2019 – via The Futon Critic.
  21. ^ Scott, Jordon (April 30, 2020). "Bitchin' Boot Camp Friday Watch Party!". Hot Rod. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  22. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 27, 2013). "'Dallas Car Sharks' to Premiere Tuesday, July 23 on Velocity". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013.
  23. ^ a b Kondolojy, Amanda (June 4, 2013). "Velocity Launches Two Original Series Beginning in June". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 18, 2013.
  24. ^ "MotorTrend TV Renews Three Most Watched Series - Bitchin' Rides, Iron Resurrection, and Texas Metal". 2020-08-11. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  25. ^ Bibel, Sara (September 7, 2012). "Documentary 'Miracle Ball' to Premiere Saturday, September 29 on Velocity". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014.
  26. ^ "Patrick Dempsey Chases the World's Best Drivers and Past Racing Legends in 'Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans' on Velocity". TV by the Numbers. June 20, 2013. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017.
  27. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (June 10, 2022). "MotorTrend Taps Titmouse for First Animated Series 'Super Turbo Story Time'". Animation Magazine.
  28. ^ "MotorTrend and BBC Studios Announce the Coproduction of a Brand-New U.S. Format of "Top Gear America" (wt) Series, and MotorTrend Will Be Streaming "Top Gear UK" in the U.S. and Canada!" (Press release). Motor Trend. April 10, 2019 – via The Futon Critic.
  29. ^ "REVEALED! Meet the Hosts of Top Gear America". Motor Trend. December 3, 2019.
  30. ^ "Join the Joy Ride! "Top Gear America," Starring Dax Shepard, Rob Corddry and Jethro Bovingdon, Premieres January 29 on the MotorTrend App" (Press release). Motor Trend. November 10, 2020 – via The Futon Critic.
  31. ^ ""Eurosport on Velocity" Brings the Best of Europe's Largest Sports Television Network to the United States for the First Time Ever" (Press release). Velocity. September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2013 – via The Futon Critic.
  32. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 26, 2013). "'Wheeler Dealers: Trading Up' to Premiere July 10 on Velocity". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.