Darryl Mobley’s appreciation for women’s sports started more than four decades ago, when a longtime friend and female athlete was not able to realize her dreams because of barriers for women’s sports that existed prior to Title IX legislation passed in 1972. Today, as a father with daughters of his own who are also involved in sports, Mobley has continued to make a push for higher level recognition when it comes to the many talented female athletes out there. Many women action sports athletes face similar challenges as their counterparts in mainstream sports, and overall Mobley hopes to reduce those hurdles and put women athletes in the spotlight they so often deserve. Janet TV—named aptly after his longtime friend— is a result of those recent efforts.
“Janet TV’s mission and vision is totally about presenting and serving athletic and active females and their fans,” says CEO Darryl Mobley. “We think that action sports represents a huge opportunity to satisfy the needs of our large and unique target audience.”
As a way to create additional awareness, Janet TV launched a new social media campaign this month called “I AM JANET TV,” which seeks to highlight female athletes through a user generated photo contest. Photos can be submitted through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter, and those that receive the most shares or likes will earn prizes, including Janet TV T-shirts and other apparel. Mobley hopes the contest sends a message to female athletes to be proud of their dedication to sports, and in turn broadcasts their level of talent and enthusiasm to the world.
Take a look through just a few of the recent amazing feats from some of action sports’ most talented women athletes:
“I was told—during conversations with people who work for some of the major sports media companies— that women just don’t like sports very much,” says Mobley. “Janet TV is a reimagination of sports TV, a reinvention of how females see themselves as physical beings, and a reset of how the world sees female athletes.”
Although Mobley and the rest of the world have seen coverage of women’s sports evolve since Title IX, Mobley says there’s still a ways to go. We caught up with the entrepreneur to learn more about the platform and how he hopes to grow the pie for women in action sports and beyond.
Why do you think Janet TV will be a success?
Janet TV will succeed because it represents a movement that can’t be stopped. Janet TV’s platform featuring successful women competing in sports will give females of all ages the permission to dream.
Janet TV will hold a mirror up to the millions of active and athletic females so that their physical side can be celebrated and appreciated. Janet TV is dedicated to featuring female athletes and their accomplishments, and not treating them as second-class citizens as is done by the established sports media. Female athletes and their fans will appreciate this.
Can you tell us more about the story behind your longtime friend after whom you named the new platform?
My friend – she was a few years older than me – played with us (the boys) in the afternoons and on weekends. She played everything with us – football, king of the mountain, basketball, baseball, ran races, raced her bike, kickball… She was a great athlete and was often selected first when we picked teams. She loved sports. But there were no school teams or neighborhood teams for girls for her to join. And, she could not play on the boys’ teams. This was pre Title IX. She was one of the greatest athletes I ever played with, and I played college sports and trained with world-class athletes. I never forgot her unhappiness with not being able to play on a team and wear a uniform. Her name: Janet. Janet TV is a tribute to my friend Janet and to all women who love sports.
What will be the online component to Janet TV be like?
JanetTV.com is an online TV channel and destination that provides 24 hours-a-day coverage of athletic and active females and their range of sporting interests — sporting events, original programming, scores and news —and is delivered to viewers nationwide on their computers, laptops, cell phones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected TVs. Janet TV will—ultimately—be everywhere!
Will you pull in contributors from other sports affiliated networks, like ESPN, etc.?
Janet TV will work with any and all contributors who are dedicated to promoting women as athletes. We believe that the sandbox is big enough for everyone. In fact, we want to collaborate with other networks.
What specific underdeveloped opportunities do you see existing in the women’s sports market today?
We see a huge opportunity to become a platform that features women involved in action sports.
What do you think is the future of women’s sports and women’s sports programming?
I believe that the future of women’s sports is very bright. There is a huge pent-up demand—from females and males—for info about, and access to, the world’s female athletes and their sports. Whenever and wherever the opportunity to watch great female athletes presents itself, a crowd forms. We are simply leveraging technology to deliver that coverage to a huge and growing audience. In providing a programming platform for all women’s sports—we see ourselves as part of an unstoppable movement whose time has arrived. And that’s a very good thing.
In regards to action sports content, how much content will focus on women surfers, skaters, snowboarders, motocross riders, etc. Will one or a few of these sports be emphasized more than others?
Women love action sports—as fans and as participants. This engagement with action sports is growing at a very fast rate. As a result, our goal is to provide our female audience with non-stop coverage of all action sports. We’ve got 24 hours each day to be a platform for action sports.
What potential opportunities do you see around growing the action sports women’s content specifically?
We look forward to collaborating with action sports properties and showcasing their sports and athletes on Janet TV. We are planning a programming block of action sports events. We’d love to incorporate the webcasts of various action sports into Janet TV’s programming. If you know of properties or athletes that want to collaborate—send them my way. As we showcase the athletes and their sports with great content—articles, TV shows, and so forth—the better we will serve fans. We will help grow the pie for everyone.
What do you think is the future of sports content/programming and what are some of the specific details behind your strategy to grow Janet TV?
Our strategy to grow Janet TV is to leverage technology so that we can provide our audience a tremendous amount of targeted sports content, provide constant engagement opportunities, and do it without apologizing or comparing to male athletes & sports. The strategic result is first-rate sports commentary that gives Janet TV’s audience the stories & shows they want around the teams, sports, athletic activities, personalities and back-stories they are most passionate about.
Beyond this, the future of sports content is all about providing choices—in the sports and athletes covered. We live our motto: Sport: It’s a female thing!