MTV Targets Pink Dollar With Gay Network

26 May 2004

MTV Networks plans to launch the first gay ad-supported television network next February in a bid to tap into the $400 billion (€330bn; £220bn) US pink market.

Logo is aimed at 25 to 49 year-olds and will feature a mixture of acquired and original programming.

Full schedules will be released this summer although it seems likely some output from other MTV channels such as a history of gay television from TV Land, and VH-1's Gay 100 music selections will be used.

The Viacom subsidiary has already acquired more than 100 films including Gods and Monsters, Love, Valor, Compassion and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Logo will also be able to exploit the news and documentary output of sister company CBS News.

The network will air on digital channels in most of the big metropolitan centres nationwide and be distributed through Time Warner Cable and RCN. It hopes to be in up to 14 million homes within a year and forecasts break-even within three.

Agencies and clients appear to be enthusiastic. Avis Rent-a-Car is in talks and online travel site Orbitz has already committed.

General Motors, IBM, American Express are among other big name clients who have expressed interest.

Predictably there have already been howls of outrage from right wing groups. "Madison Avenue has gone amok. They don't realize they've awakened the sleeping giant," said Louis Sheldon, head of the Traditional Values Coalition.

He is calling other religious groups to boycott advertisers who support the channel.

MTV Networks chairman, Tom Freston, said he appreciated there might be concern in some quarters but stressed the channel would feature mainstream programming. "We don't expect any huge backlash," he said.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff