Team Services Inc. hopes the successful Tae-Bo infomercial
workout series will be as lucrative for the pay-per-view industry as it's been for the
EchoStar Communications Corp., DirecTV Inc. and TVN
Entertainment Corp. launched the innovative PPV-subscription series last week, but Team
Services president Bonnie Werth is hoping to bring cable operators into the fold, as well.
Tae-Bo -- the total-body fitness workout that combines the
movements of boxing, Tae Kwan Do and aerobics -- is the best-selling fitness tape in
history. The series, created by martial-arts instructor Billy Blanks, will offer 12 new
workouts per month exclusively for PPV -- six basic and six advanced workouts, Werth said.
The workouts will run in a 13-hour block each day beginning
around 6 a.m. DBS and cable subscribers can purchase Tae-Bo on a monthly basis for $19.95
per month or on an individual basis at a suggested retail price of $3.95.
"It's an innovative concept for PPV, but it does
require a substantial amount of airtime," Werth said. "But these workouts are
exclusively produced for PPV and targeted to people who don't want to spend $60 [for the
tapes], but who want to try Tae-Bo."
"We think this will add a tremendous value for our
customers, since workout tapes cost $60 each at the store and gym sessions are $10
each," EchoStar Dish Network spokesman Marc Lumpkin said. "For $20 per month,
this is a great value, and it's convenient, since they can work out in their homes."
Team Services said the company will evaluate Tae-Bo's
performance over a three-month period to see if PPV sales will cut into Tae-Bo's
infomercial business, which is generating $1 million to $2 million per week.
"We'll have to see how strong the demand is. It's the
first franchise that needs to coexist with a direct-response business," Werth said.
If PPV proves successful, Werth believes Tae-Bo can also
generate significant revenue for cable operators. In Demand is currently not offering the
The PPV package will be promoted twice during the 30-minute
Tae-Bo infomercial, further driving awareness for the DBS distributors and TVN.
"We are telling operators that they may receive phone
calls about the series because of the infomercials, and eventually, we will offer Tae-Bo
on a stand-alone basis for those operators interested," Werth said.