I turned on the TV the other day and was greeted by an info-mercial for the latest fad exercise product. These seem to be particularly prevalent on weekend mornings, I don't know if that is because that's when most people are exercising, or because that's when ad time is most affordable. Anyway, it got me thinking that the revenue model seems to be completely backward. Rather than spend money advertising to get people to buy your way overpriced DVD, why not have an entire network dedicated to exercise. Then P90X, Insanity, and all the other repeat offenders that I keep seeing could be paid by advertisers to air their program rather than the other way around. This would allow them to make more money in the long term by having repeated airings rather than a one time DVD sale that you never see money from that customer again. It also opens up your product to a larger market of customers like me who have no intention of ever purchasing a workout DVD but might watch if one were available through broadcast. Additional revenue streams could be opened up by selling streaming rights to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, or selling them through iTunes. I think that there is just a larger long term revenue opportunity than the current model.
The one sticky point for me right now, however, is the name. The Exercise Network might not be catchy enough. The logical move is for ESPN to start a new channel and name it EXPN, but who knows if they have any interest in that. Perhaps the Fitness Network or Hot Bodies or something more provocative might be more effective. But I'll leave that to the network executives to come up with their own name. For now I just think that there is an untapped market that could disrupt the current business strategy and make a lot of money.