Citing the popularity of its live cycling classes and their positive effect on people's outlook and mental condition, Peloton Interactive (PTON -0.98%) continues to broadcast live with a limited crew despite the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The live sessions are filmed in New York City, at the heart of one of the country's biggest outbreaks.

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently told all nonessential workers to stay home, but Peloton has managed to continue operating so far by claiming it's part of the exempted "news media."

A woman working out on a Peloton cycle.

Image source: Peloton Interactive.

The company's spin classes are most popular when people watching the streaming program can compete against the live leaderboard results of instructors, rather than just watching pre-recorded sessions, according to Peloton. Each live session is filmed with one instructor and a small supporting crew in an otherwise vacant studio.

Other companies offering live fitness streaming, such as Mirror Home Gym and FightCamp home boxing, classify themselves as nonessential, and have closed down their live filming operations in New York and California. These enterprises are relying on already filmed content to bridge the gap through coronavirus-related work closures.

Peloton has drawn censure from a few users over its decision to continue live filming, with some people noting that the process puts employees and instructors at risk. The company has recently taken several precautions to limit contact and potential spread of the virus, including cancellation and refunding of in-house treadmill installations. To make it easier for people to switch over to safely working out at home, it also started offering its exercise app free to new users for 90 days last Saturday.