Up Next, Orange Vests

Outside magazine, September 1996

Up Next, Orange Vests

Just when you thought TV home shopping had reached its saturation point--with channels hustling everything from Pete Rose autographed baseballs to plum-size cubic zircon--the Sportsmans' Outdoor Network crackled to life this spring, hoping to capitalize on the untapped hook-and-bullet crowd. Alas, it seems the television audience for spinning rods and duck decoys may not be as large as one would think. After an unprofitable debut and a resulting five-month hiatus from broadcasting, the network is relaunching next month, targeting a wider audience with everything from buckshot to in-line skates to mountain bikes. "We realized we were hitting only 25 percent of the population that likes sports," says producer Mistie Lackey. Can the network make a clean break from its Elmer Fudd image? "It's true, people hear 'sportsman' and they think of only hunting and fishing," Lackey says. "But we're in the process of renegotiating our name ."

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