Warner Bros. Discovery Launches First Entertainment FAST Channel (EXCLUSIVE)

Warner Bros. Discovery’s MotorTrend Group, which specializes in lifestyle automotive content and operates the “MotorTrend” cable network, is moving into free ad-supported streaming (FAST). 

MotorTrend Group is partnering with Samsung TV Plus to launch the MotorTrend FAST channel on October 26 across the U.S. and Canada. The channel is Warner Bros. Discovery’s first entertainment-based FAST channel, joining “CNN Replay” and “CNN Resuma” as initial forays into free ad-supported streaming TV. 

The MotorTrend channel will give access to shows from across the huge library of automotive content MotorTrend Group possesses and is the next step in the expansion plan for the brand in making its content available to viewers across new and traditional media formats. 

The channel will see several thematic programming blocks, with weekends dedicated to content from two of MotorTrend’s most popular experts, David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan, who specialize in automotive chaos theory — brilliant execution of bad ideas involving all manner of muscle cars, 4x4s and/or hot rods. 

“The most common request among our tens of millions of fans is one of ‘access’ — access to our massive catalog of premium automotive storytelling, and MotorTrend FAST TV delivers with a free, ad-supported business that complements our digital and TV subscription offerings,” said Alex Wellen, Global President and General Manager of Motor Trend Group, in a statement to Variety. “We can’t think of a better partner to kick off this critical pillar to our business. Samsung TV Plus provides a world-class, immersive, frictionless experience for its massive global audience.  This marks a milestone in our mission to introduce and inspire automotive culture to car fans everywhere.” 

The addition of the MotorTrend channel comes soon after Samsung launched its own owned-and-operated automotive FAST channel, “Ride or Drive,” on Samsung TV Plus and comes at a time when the service is growing its FAST offerings more almost every month. 

Samsung Electronics’ SVP of Product and Marketing Sang Kim commented on the addition of MotorTrend to Samsung TV Plus’ channel lineup, telling Variety, “Consumers continue to fall in love with FAST as a source of premium, live content. Part of why Samsung TV Plus has seen such rapid growth is because we’re providing the premium entertainment experience of traditional TV, without the need for a credit card or subscription. We continue to expand and strengthen partnerships with top networks and creators, including MotorTrend, that help us provide consumers entertaining content they can enjoy when and how they want it, from local news and sports, to home, lifestyle, auto and beyond.” 

Variety Intelligence Platform estimated in April that revenues generated from advertising in FAST would be worth $3.9 billion in 2022, rising to $6.1 billion by 2025. This is undoubtedly a driver for MotorTrend’s entry into the quickly evolving world of FAST, with it highly likely that more brands from Warner Bros. Discovery will join in 2023. 

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