MUSL TV Seeks Place in Fitness Genre

A new independent cable
network will look to muscle in on the
fitness-and-lifestyle genre later this

MUSL TV — an acronym for the
Muscle, Ultra-Sports and Lifestyle Network
— will offer reality programming, workout
content and training videos focused on the
$100 billion health-and-fitness marketplace,
MUSL TV president and CEO Jacob
Arback told Multichannel News.

“We understand what the distribution
parties want to see from a new network,” said
Arback, a cable veteran who co-founded the
Africa Channel.

Robb Weller, executive vice president of
programming and production, said the network
will feature originally-produced shows
and licensed content. The target audience
cuts across several demos, including baby
boomers looking
to take
better care of
their bodies;
in training
and athletic competitions; and more than
45 million viewers with active health-club

“Viewers enjoy watching programming
that they can easily identify with, and today
— with so many men and women of all ages
looking to better their bodies, get in shape,
have more endurance and lead a healthier
lifestyle — there is a pent-up demand for the
types of shows we will be producing and airing,”
he said.

While the network will feature workout
programming and fitness competition, Weller
said the service will also feature at least four
original reality series, as well as a number of
talk shows and original biographies about
personalities within the fitness space that
will draw both workout fanatics and casual

The high-definition service will eventually
look to offer 3D content, too. “We know
this is a contingent that is underserved on
television,” Weller said. “We’re about reaching
doers, not just viewers.”

The network will compete mostly
against fitness video-on-demand services,
including cable-operator-backed
Exercise TV. Cable’s only 24-hour fitnessand-
health network, Discovery Health,
morphed into the Oprah Winfrey Network
(OWN) on Jan. 1.

Arback would not reveal a license fee and
said the network will look to begin distribution
talks with operators in the near future.

“For our distribution partners, we are
excited about aggregating and delivering
a new universe of viewers across highly
sought-after demographics, both male and
female, who are passionate about their active
and athletic lifestyles.”

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.