TV4 unveils streaming network dedicated to cancer

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Coming this fall to a device near you: an online streaming network made specifically for cancer patients.

TV4 Entertainment is launching an online streaming network for health and wellness content under its Digital Health Networks subsidiary. The first channel, Thrive Cancer Network, will be focused on cancer patients when it launches in the fall.

The channel is an opportunity for health organizations to reach cancer patients and their caregivers, said Jon Cody, founder and CEO of TV4, which is working to set up partnerships for Thrive.

“It's a great platform to be able to put your message in front of someone that is very targeted with good, authentic, real content experiences that makes them want to come back again,” he said.

TV4 has niche streaming channels for groups including veterans, car enthusiasts, and gamers. It has worked with brands to create content, often similar to PBS-like shows and documentaries, and as channel partners. Cody plans to continue that strategy with new health networks.

The channel can be streamed online, on mobile, and on smart TVs. It will also be available at point-of-care domains, including physician offices, hospitals, and telemedicine screens.

Content on Thrive Cancer Network will include documentaries following real cancer patients to educational shows featuring top doctors. Cody said the content will range across the cancer journey to appeal to people with any form of cancer with shows about diagnosis, treatment, remission, and caregiving.

One documentary will shine a light on adolescents with cancer. The host goes to all 50 states and meets a teen with cancer to talk about experiences and shows how the cancer journey is different based on age.

Cody said he hopes that the network will become a one-stop shop for education, inspiring stories, support, and a community.

“I'm a dad with two kids with autism and there are a lot of books out there, but the truth is you find yourself in a YouTube hole or finding support in Facebook group,” Cody said. “But there's no place you can go to easily educate yourself and be inspired by others in the same situation. There are great resources out there, but they're scattered and they're on you to find.”

TV4 creates streaming channels and programming for niche, but passionate communities. Cody said moving into health and wellness programming felt like a natural fit and a good business opportunity. Over the next year, Digital Health Networks is planning to add channels for stress management, chronic pain, autism, addiction, diabetes, and caregiving.

Digital Health Networks is headed by Cody and former Starz CMO Mike Hale, who also brought on experts from Healix, the University of Southern California, and the healthcare telecommunications field as advisers.

“The TV business around the world is in disruption and it leaves a lot of people, whether its viewers, content partners, or brands, having to deal with a whole new set of rules,” Cody said. “It has a chance, if done well, to reshape the story and health, but it comes down to whether it affects a viewer or member of this community and improves conditions.”

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