Television

Discovery US to relaunch Health Network as FitTV

MASSACHUSSETTS: Discovery Networks US has announced that it will relaunch The Health Network on 1 January. It will be given back its old name FitTV. The basic cable network will have new exercise and wellness programming.

The channel has teamed up with fitness expert Jake Steinfeld. He will host new episodes of the show Body by Jake. Discovery had acquired The Health Network from the Fox Cable Networks Group in September 2001. An official release informs that the new initiative re-establishes DCI's commitment to leading the industry in the health media category. The network will launch with 30 million subscribers with commitments to approximately 50 million subscribers over the next few years.

Media veteran Carole Tomko will be the GM of the network. She most recently served as VP of production and development for Animal Planet. Discovery Networks US president Billy Campbell added, "We have talked to a number of affiliates, and have identified a robust business opportunity in the health category that focuses on the multi-faceted world of fitness for the mind and body.

FitTV will be a companion network to the Discovery Health Channel, with high-energy, visually appealing programming designed for the millions of men and women for whom fitness is a way of life." Steinfeld has emerged as one of the world's great motivators for physical and emotional well-being adds the release. FitTV will showcase additional new exercise and wellness series and specials. Steinfeld added, "I can't tell you how pumped I am to partner with Discovery to relaunch the network. Our goal with FitTV will be to entertain, inspire and educate viewers in all aspects of fitness and lifestyle".

More than $81 billion is spent in the US on fitness and weight loss-related products each year. This, coupled with extensive discussions with operators, consumers and potential advertisers, confirmed that FitTV would meet the needs of a large, underserved audience. The new network will tap into their enormous and boundless appetite for health and fitness information with series and specials about exercise, wellness, nutrition and sports, among other health-related topics.

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