Recovery Network completely revamped its business model
last week, announcing that it will change the name of its cable channel to
The network -- which has about 5 million subscribers,
mostly through PEG-access (public, educational and government) distribution -- was focused
on too narrow of a niche, said Bill Moses, president of Recovery parent RnetHealth.com
MyMindandBodyTV will expand beyond Recovery's niche of
programming designed to help addicts, focusing on behavioral health and issues that
sometimes lead to addiction, such as eating disorders and domestic violence, Moses said.
"Recovery was too narrow, and when you look at where
the dollars are being spent, the dollars are being spent right now on behavioral
health," he said.
Moses said 20 percent of programming on MyMindandBodyTV
will focus on recovery/addiction; 20 percent on social disorders (domestic violence, child
abuse, gang violence); 30 percent on complimentary and alternative medicines; and 30
percent on eating disorders, depression and attention-deficit disorder.
RnetHealth.com plans to launch a companion Web site for
MyMindandBodyTV (www.mymindandbody.com). The company expects to generate more
revenue from the Web site than it does from the cable channel by offering premium services
such as online counseling. "Our whole model is based on driving traffic to our
site," Moses said.
Discovery launched a companion a Web site (www.discoveryhealth.com)
in July for the launch of its Discovery Health digital-cable channel, but it is
advertising-supported, and it does not offer any premium services.
"We don't go there [to premium] because no one
else is going there," said Linda Yu, vice president and general manager of discoveryhealth.com,
explaining that it's difficult to charge money for health information since similar
content is available free-of-charge on other sites.
Most of Recovery's distribution is through PEG
channels, and Cablevision Systems Corp. has been the "biggest supporter" of the
network by carrying it on local-origination channels, Moses said.
RnetHealth.com hopes MyMindandBodyTV will reach 25 million
homes by the end of next year, Moses said. He expects most of its distribution to continue
to be through PEG channels.
Recovery owns a library of 303 hours of programming, and
Moses said he is looking to add 120 hours of original shows. New programs slated to debut
next year include Overcoming Overeating and Overcoming Gang Violence, he
Moses said he is also developing a
digital-cable-distribution model, which he plans to begin pitching to cable operators by
the end of the next year. "We have not gone digital because [the market] is so
fluid," he added.
RnetHealth.com also announced last week that it eliminated
all equity resets from a $3 million round of financing in June. The company said it
converted all remaining debt to equity with the exception of $75,000 owed to CBS
Corp.'s Group W Network Services for satellite-transponder services.
The company planned to announce a public-affairs initiative
last week with Cable Positive, the industry organization that supports AIDS and HIV
awareness, Moses said.
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