VH1 to offer paid subscription site
VH1 is getting into an unusual sideline — the weight-loss biz.For the new season of its reality skein “Celebrity Fit Club,” net is launching a paid-subscription site that will dispense diet advice from Dr. Ian Smith, the doctor featured on the program. CelebrityFitClub.com will launch in April, just ahead of the bow of the fifth season of the series on April 15. Consumers can pay $19.95 per month for advice on exercise regimens, dieting tips and other recommendations from Smith, who in addition to his turn on the series also wrote New York Times bestseller “The Fat Smash Diet.” Fitness guru Harvey Walden IV and psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser, who star on the show, will also contribute to the site. Self-help giant Rodale built the site and is overseeing with VH1; deal is similar to the one Rodale hammered out with NBC for that net’s series “The Biggest Loser,” under which consumers also paid for an online diet program. For VH1, site is a way to boost interest in the show; execs emphasized that it was another iteration for interactive content along the lines of exclusive content on the VSpot section of VH1.com as well as mobile editions of its programs. Perhaps more importantly, move reps a bid to create a new source of digital revenue. While execs would not disclose details of the deal, it’s believed VH1 will share in revenue from subscriptions. Cable nets and other content distributors have been urgently seeking new ways to mine new media for coin as well as marketing potential. Among the celebs from bygone years who will appear on the new season of “Celebrity Fit Club” in an attempt to get in shape are Maureen McCormick of “The Brady Bunch,” Dustin Diamond of “Saved by the Bell” and ’80s bubble-gum pop-star Tiffany. Smith had also provided text alerts for subscribers.