Cable TV’s Velocity and the Discovery Channel, which take over live coverage of Barrett-Jackson starting with the signature Scottsdale collector-car sales event in January, have announced an on-camera team of auto experts and television personalities.
Barrett-Jackson announced in April that it was switching from the Fox network after its longtime TV partnership with SPEED, which Fox closed down in the U.S. in 2013 to transition into an addition sports channel. The B-J auctions appeared throughout this year mainly on Fox Sports 2 and other network channels, ending with the Las Vegas auction in October.
Velocity and Discovery, which are owned by Discovery Communications, have identified the telecast team, which will feature three veterans who are familiar to Barrett-Jackson viewers: auction-block experts Mike Joy and Steve Magnante, and color commentator Rick DeBruhl. All of them were longtime regulars on Barrett-Jackson shows on SPEED and Fox.
Three new faces will be added:
• Serving as host will be Chris Jacobs, co-host of Velocity’s Overhaulin’ restoration series and other programs.
• Ray Evernham, host of Velocity’s Americarna and a former NASCAR crew chief and team owner, will appear as a “car insights expert” and interviewer during the auctions.
• The social-media correspondent will be Cristy Lee, motorsports journalist and commentator, and co-host of Velocity’s All Girls Garage.
The production company that had produced the live shows for SPEED and Fox will be retained for the Velocity/Discovery coverage.
Velocity and Discovery plan more than 100 hours of live coverage of Barrett-Jackson’s four auctions during 2015 in Scottsdale; Palm Beach, Florida; Reno; and Las Vegas. The cable broadcasts will be dramatically expanded to include more than 100 countries, including Canada and nations in Latin America, shown by Discovery Networks International.
“We’re set to deliver our viewers unparalleled coverage of the greatest collector car auctions in the world beginning with Scottsdale in January, the most hotly anticipated Barrett-Jackson auction in recent memory,” said Robert Scanlon, general manager of Velocity. “Launching Barrett-Jackson Live is an extraordinary milestone for the network. We’ve chosen the very best on-air team to take audiences inside the historic Scottsdale auction like never before.”
The Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector-car auction, which has been extended to nine days due to the sale of the monumental Ron Pratte collection, starts Saturday, January 10, and runs through Sunday, January 18.
For details about the auction and live TV coverage, see barrett-jackson.com.