New Cable Channel Targets Auto Enthusiasts
Add 24-hour automotive news and consumer programming to the list of cable channels hoping to find an audience.According to USA Today, Wheels TV, based in Acton, Mass., outside Boston, plans to launch in the first quarter of 2004 with a lineup of original and acquired programming focusing on cars, trucks and motorcycles, but not on racing, the niche of Fox Cable Networks Group's Speed Channel."Wheels TV is all about our enjoyment of theautomobile," says Wheels TV chairman and founder Jim Barisano. "That runs the gamut from the wind in your hair with the top down to safety and performance and resale value. We're more on the road than on the track."Wheels TV, which is privately held, aims to be in 5 million to 6 million homes when it launches early next year, but that will depend on how many cable systems decide to offer the channel. It is in the early stages of trying to forge relationships with cable company giants such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as satellite television providers DirecTV and EchoStar, Barisano said, according to USA Today.