Cable TV

US cable firm Comcast to launch an exercise channel

MUMBAI: US cable firm Comcast in conjunction with fitness expert Jake Steinfeld and equity partners New Balance and Time Warner Cable, has launched Exercise TV.

This is an on-demand network dedicated to fitness, sports instruction and motivational programming.

During a pre-launch trial period with Comcast, Exercise TV video on demand (VOD) reached more than two million views per month. 20 million workouts were viewed over the course of the trial.

ExerciseTV is a network developed exclusively for VOD and emerging media formats, such as wireless and online video, which represents a significant shift from the traditional television programming and advertising model.

Rather than 30 to 60 second ads, sponsor-branded messages are completely integrated into the content of the network and include: product placement, branded graphic overlays and educational video segments developed in conjunction with sponsors.

New Balance is the first brand to sign a multi- million dollar deal with Exercise TV and is the exclusive athletic footwear and apparel sponsor of the network.

Comcast COO Steve Burke says, "ExerciseTV represents the next generation of television networks we are developing that are created for time-shifted, on-demand viewing. Fitness content is ideally suited for video on demand, and the multi-billion dollar home exercise market offers a great business opportunity for additional exercisetv sponsors. This partnership also is a major step in the evolution of advertising through new and innovative formats."

With more than 90 programs available at any time, ExerciseTV offers something for all fitness levels, interests and demographics. Popular and innovative programs include:

-- Cardio -- Seniors workouts

-- Pilates -- Pre- and post-natal workouts

-- Yoga -- Spanish-language workouts

-- Tai Chi -- Sport-specific training and tips

-- Sculpting and toning -- Advice on selecting the right workout

-- Dancing clothing and shoes

-- Walking -- Jake Motivates

-- Kids workouts

The network's website will become an online destination for additional fitness resources, including tips for planning workout schedules and program samples. In the coming months, viewers will be able to visit the website to purchase items that they see on ExerciseTV, including fitness apparel, equipment and extended versions of their favourite workouts on DVD.

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