Despite being founded in the worst grip of the recession, the ‘Active Channel’ on Sky has proved it fitness. Against all odds, economic and otherwise, it has climbed to the heady heights of being named as the biggest broadcaster of health and fitness in the UK.
After being on air for only a year, they are achieving over 1,00,000 viewers a month. The key to their success seems to be their fresh attitude and pioneering content. They are the only broadcaster of this type to commission the vast majority of their content. This gives them a dynamic mixture of relevant, informative and energetic programmes which the health conscious audience are lapping up.
The most popular shows are a very eclectic mix. There is Dean Ash’s Hard Training, a self defence show and the fitness programme Celebrity Trainer. Then we have the beauty contests Miss England and Miss World and a whole gamut of adrenaline pumping shows such as Adrenalise and X Adventures. The list of celebrities who have already appeared on the ‘Active Channel’ include Jason Statham, Arnie Schwarzennegger, Kylie and Liz Hurley, with many more lined up for the future.
“It’s a much bigger and more costly challenge than just buying in your programmes”, says the channel’s director of development, Mark Hiley, former head of Rapido Television. “The overwhelming success of the channel has reflected bigger and bigger programme budgets, which has enabled it to make better and better programmes. Critics are already calling the channel a pioneer of its genre and the programmes are starting to be sold to broadcasters worldwide”.
Vigorous growth is anticipated to continue as audiences experience the great motivation delivered by the channel program content. Growth boosted in the UK naturally by Olympics fever and through building on the channels successful commissioning strategy with the forthcoming introduction of a whole new batch of innovative programmes featuring artists such as Caprice and Aggro Santos. Meanwhile overseas expansion will deliver this winning formula internationally and impact exponentially on audience figures.
Opportunities for programme sponsorship and product placement will be phased in from 1st May 2011, when the channel will open its doors to new advertisers as the exclusive advertising deal with their foundation backer draws to a close.
Early adopters such as FHM, Loaded, Men’s Fitness, Health & Fitness and Muscle & Fitness are amongst those high profile brands already appearing on the channel.
The audience demographics show a slight male bias of 62%, predominantly ABC1 and 18-34 and this could be a reflection on the lifestyle choices of the UK consumer to become healthier, fitter and stronger.
Initially, the channel was backed by sports supplements company, LA Muscle, who acquired Sky channel 281 for the broadcaster, in August 2009. Following a six month trial period, The Active Channel was officially launched on 1st May 2010. The agreement with LA Muscle gave them a one year window in which to maximise the advertising.
“Our investment in the channel has been a big winner for us”, Says LA Muscle founder, Parham Donyai. “It has driven millions of pounds worth of sales which has more than repaid our original investment”.
The Active Channel is a fresh and dynamic presence in the health & fitness market place and is the most natural and powerful medium by which to reach a fitness-minded and health conscious audience.
About The Active Channel
Launched in May 2010 the Channel was initially backed by sports supplements company, LA Muscle who held an exclusive advertising option for the first year.
By spring 2011 audience figures reached over one million making the Active Channel the UKs leading health and fitness broadcaster.