Here we go: stretching. A trainer in pink leggings shows how it’s done. It follows: jogging on the spot, jumping, touching the ground with your hand. Motivation in "power po" training shown by hessischer rundfunk: "take your time. It will still be exhausting enough."
Participatory sport is reminiscent of the 1980s, when made-up sports fans with perms and brightly colored outfits brought the aerobics trend from the USA to german television. Gymnastics exercises on TV have survived to this day. A survey of broadcasters by the deutsche presse-agentur showed: in corona times, there is even a slightly higher number of participatory sports on the air again overall.
A mini-revival for TV gymnastics: when there were many restrictions in everyday life during the corona pandemic in the spring, hessische rundfunk (HR) showed three quarters of an hour of join-in sports from a broad-based sports club in the morning. "We wanted to help people in hesse keep fit and healthy despite closed gyms and canceled sports classes," the public broadcaster says. "Fit in den tag" is now running again in november.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, rundfunk berlin-brandenburg (RBB) also introduced a TV fitness format, which also runs in the mornings during the week. The same picture can be seen at norddeutscher rundfunk (NDR): in april, the new format "der norden bleibt fit zuhause" ("the north stays fit at home") with top athletes was broadcast on NDR television around noon.
Not only public broadcasters are jumping on the trend. The pay-TV station sky initiated the fitness format "skygym" with 10-minute workouts for its program sky sport this spring. According to the broadcaster, the workout can currently be seen on weekend mornings.
But this development is not being seen everywhere. The prosiebensat media group.1 sees it this way: "participation sports are so individual today that they don’t play a role for our broadcasters."Even on ZDF, there are no plans for a sports program to join in with.
"Tele-gym" – at bayerischer rundfunk, the TV format, which is already around 30 years old, has survived to this day, in contrast to other broadcasts – for example "ub mit, bleib fit" at saarlandischer rundfunk in the 1960s, "enorm in form" on ZDF in the 1980s or "medizin nach noten" in the GDR.
"Tele-gym" lead-in was ski gymnastics with sports star rosi mittermaier in the 1970s. Interest increased in corona times. BR gives figures: before the first lockdown, the show was on weekdays from the beginning of the year until mid-march at around 8 a.M.30 o’clock on average 71.000 viewers nationwide, since then it has averaged 87.000. And within the time of the first lockdown 110.000.
This year, BR introduced another join-in format, "fit mit felix" with ski star felix neureuther, which is primarily designed for digital channels. In addition, an episode is currently running on sundays on BR television.
The dpa survey revealed other trends: TV stations integrate sports exercises into their programming, but do not offer separate formats for them. Examples: in the first, there are also fitness and relaxation exercises in the service program "ARD-buffet", and this even before corona. Since spring, the number of hits has been increased, it says. A fixed broadcasting slot for a participatory sports format is not planned.
Mitteldeutscher rundfunk and sudwestrundfunk have also been integrating sports broadcasts into afternoon service programs for a long time now. MDR states: "we are currently observing an increased demand for offers, also due to fitness studios closing again and the onset of the ‘dark season’."At saarlandischer rundfunk, corona led to fitness exercises being presented for participation in the sports section of the state news program ("aktueller bericht") from march to may.
Another trend: participatory offers are available in digital, but not in continuous TV programming. The private station RTL is currently offering sports training on its website under the "lockdown challenge" campaign. The west german broadcasting corporation (WDR) reports: "those who want to be guided to active sports in front of a screen do not do so at a specific, predefined time with the help of a linear offer. That’s why we’re not currently planning a participatory sports format in linear programming, but we do offer various on-demand offerings.". And SWR has plans to do this via existing digital sports formats: "we are also planning to record a new format with several episodes this year, which will probably reach people primarily via youtube and facebook."
Broadcasters do not expect a long-term and widespread return and increasing interest in TV participatory sports. RBB says: "the online market for sports offers is so diverse that anyone who wants to exercise is more likely to find his or her tailor-made program there."