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PTP buys 'wounded' gay porn digital channel

PTP buys 'wounded' gay porn digital channel

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Building audience first order of business for HardTV
Pink Triangle Press (PTP), the company that publishes Xtra, in partnership with Peace Point Entertainment Group, has bought gay porn digital specialty channel, HardTV.
 
The channel was purchased from OutTV's parent company in a deal valued at about $70,000.

Shavick Entertainment Group is the majority owner of OutTV while PTP and Peace Point each hold a minority stake in that channel. Under the HardTV deal, Shavick gives up all interest in HardTV, while the rest of the ownership structure of OutTV remains unchanged.

Under the new ownership of HardTV, approved by the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission in December, PTP secures a 55 percent controlling stake, with Peace Point holding the remaining 45 percent.

As well as their partnership in OutTV, PTP and Peace Point also work together on Bump, the international gay travel show.

HardTV was spun out of OutTV (then called PrideVision) when the current investors bought in, explains Andrew Chang, PTP's chief operating officer.

"PrideVision used to air hardcore erotica after midnight," says Chang. "Broadcasters and cable companies were always uncomfortable with adult content appearing on a mainstream channel. So when we acquired PrideVision as part of the investor group, we split it into two channels. We moved all the hardcore onto the new HardTV and left OutTV as the general interest channel."

PTP is no stranger to gay sexual expression. In addition to the Xtra chain of newspapers, fab and Guide magazines and its share in OutTV, the not-for-porfit company also operates hookup services Cruiseline and Squirt.org.

"We've been putting a lot of work into OutTV, and it still needs a lot of work, but it's come a long way," says Chang. "There just weren't enough resources to also reposition and revitalize HardTV. We decided that we didn't want to lose a major media outlet for the community, so we decided to take it over and do that ourselves."

Since PrideVision was rebranded as OutTV, HardTV has languished.

"I think it was an asset that was just sitting there, was never really properly managed or invested in," says Les Tomlin, president and CEO at Peace Point. "We thought once we invested in it we could make it into a successful business. It was kind of a wounded soldier that was lying there for three years, and now it's going to get the tender loving care that it needs."

Tomlin says that some changes are already underway — to start, viewers should notice fewer reruns.

"In the short term, we're just interested in more programming. That was always a major concern, because the repeat factor was crazy," says Tomlin. "There was just not enough new content."

Over the long term, HardTV may expand beyond digital cable.

"We realize that people aren't just watching TV. You've got to be available on different platforms," especially online and on mobile devices, says Tomlin. "We're going to look into ways to expand the brand into multiple platforms."

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Comments

Are we comfortable yet?
"Broadcasters and cable companies were always uncomfortable with adult content appearing on a mainstream channel". I don't agree. The filter has mostly been on adult content that is between men. I've flipped across some hardcore high-definition straight porn on M Excess, which is about as mainstream as it gets, being part of The Movie Network package, with this particular channel also showing popular Hollywood films, and new series like Spartacus Blood and Sand. I've never seen any male same-sex equivalent in high-definition porn on The Movie Network or any other mainstream channel I have access to. Gay male customers are being discriminated against, because we're not being offered the same service, despite paying for entertainment for straight guys to get off on. The very least they could do is send me a straight guy to watch, while he enjoys my TV.
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