All Puppies, All The Time!
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 97 12:29:08 -0700
Subject: All Puppies, All The Time!
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (James C. Tsiao)
09/04/97- Updated 01:02 AM ET
Puppy Channel: All puppies, all the time
Dan FitzSimons thinks cable TV is lacking "a place to park while you wait
for a program to start."
He hopes his new Puppy Channel will fill the void by offering
around-the-clock footage of "puppies being puppies" accompanied by music.
"Most entertainment tries to involve you," says FitzSimons, who developed
the Cleveland-based channel with his wife, Carol. "We thought, how about
something that would just be there, no surprises, no intellectual
involvement, that you could tune in and relax."
This isn't the first time such an idea has surfaced. Back in 1994, cable
viewers in Columbia, S.C., had Fish TV, which featured continuous footage
of aquariums. Fish TV split air time with Bravo, but was abandoned when more
channel capacity was needed.
But "it was certainly well-received," says Tim Hartman, general manager of
Time Warner Cable. Viewers enjoyed "the soothing quality of the
FitzSimons figured puppies were perfect because "people can hardly look at
puppies without feeling better."
On the Puppy Channel, there will be no talk, no people and "no commercials
as we know them," FitzSimons says. Captions will identify the puppies and
the accompanying music. Viewers can purchase the music or pet-related
products shown in the footage through an 800 number, while a 900 number will
provide tips about animal health care, training and picking the right pet.
The channel will be tested this fall in Summit County, Colo., New Smyrna
Beach, Fla., and Queens, N.Y. FitzSimons hopes to put the channel in 100,000
homes by year's end. "But if this puppy gets adopted by the right family (a
major advertiser or a cable company), it will happen much faster."
For pet owners who want to submit puppy videos, the guidelines are loose.
"Though the legal age for a puppy is 2, as far as we're concerned, we can't
tell from video how old a puppy is," FitzSimons says. "So if you send us
something of a dog acting like a puppy, who are we to say it's not a puppy?"
By Robin DeRosa, USA TODAY
© 1997 Peter Langston