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Another Channel by Jake?

Jul 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Body builder, actor and entrepreneur Jake Steinfeld, who runs Body by Jake in L.A., has a favorite motto: “Don’t Quit.” That seems appropriate, because 10 years after he first launched Fit TV, the fitness guru and his partner Tim Robertson, former CEO of International Family Entertainment, are in discussions to either launch a completely new exercise-oriented cable network or to get involved in the relaunch of Discovery Communications’ Health Network, which started life as Fit TV (acquired from Fox Sports). Billy Campbell, president of Discovery Networks USA (which also owns the Discovery Health Channel with Comcast), told TelevisionWeek reporter John Motavalli there have been conversations but no deal yet: “Anyone who is going to do something in the exercise and fitness area will talk to Jake. Is there a possibility that [a deal] could occur? There is a possibility, but I doubt it.” A new channel might mix new and repurposed programming with infomercials, including Mr. Steinfeld’s own Enrich Nutrition plan and Body by Jake Workout program. One problem could be in getting cable operators to pay sub fees for a channel viewed as mostly promotional. “A stand-alone basic channel is very hard to do right now,” a veteran cable executive said. “They might have a lot of trouble getting meaningful sub fees if it is looked at as heavy with infomercials.” However, we would never underestimate Mr. Steinfeld. After all, we know he will not quit.