Mag Rack on Fitness Kick

Rainbow Media Holdings LLC’s Mag Rack video-on-demand service -- buffing up its programming image under the tag line, “TV for Whatever Turns You On” -- is adding a new fitness segment and more promotional fare tied to popular movies.

Next month, the VOD service will debut new, original fitness content hosted by Sue Fleming, author of the Buff fitness books, senior vice president and general manager Dan Ronayne said.

A total of 10 segments -- including “Buff in Shorts,” “Buff in Little Black Dress” and “Buff in Tank Top” -- come under Mag Rack’s “Personal Trainer” category.

Another recent entry, Smart Carb Gourmet, features low-carb recipes prepared by award-winning chefs.

Overall, Mag Rack has an even mix of original and acquired programming, and it plans to add more original content in the near future, Ronayne said. Product is refreshed 25% per week and 100% each month.

The investment is paying off with distribution traction, Rainbow Network Sales president Gregg Hill said. Mag Rack recently struck an accord with Adelphia Communications Corp. that makes it available on systems in New England; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and south Florida.

And Charter Communications Inc. -- which already offered Mag Rack through systems reaching 1.2 million subscribers -- has put it in front of an additional 600,000 customers in California; Reno, Nev.; and Georgia.

All told, Mag Rack is in 3.5 million homes.

Hill also said Mag Rack’s “Short Cuts” -- content running from eight to 30 minutes in length -- is gaining exposure via DirecTV Inc.’s “FreeView” weekend service, part of the direct-broadcast satellite provider’s “Total Choice” package.

For more on Mag Rack, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 18 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.