France gets gay with Pink TV

MUMBAI: After Viacom announced that it would launch Logo for the US gay and lesbian community early next year, it is now France's turn to get one. Pink TV launches on 25 October at a price of $11 a month.

An AP report added that Pink's founders believe that there's a ready audience for the channel across Europe, and not just among France's estimated 3.5 million gays.

The report notes that recently France legally recognised gay couples and elected a gay mayor for Paris. Homophobic remarks will be punishable with prison and fines under a draft law expected to be debated in parliament before the year's end.

At the launch event, Pink said that while it would take part in the debate on homosexuality and other topics it had no plans to be militant.

Pink is aiming for at least 180,000 subscribers. There will be debates every Monday on topics such as homophobia, gay unions, gay parenthood and other topics. On Thursdays there will be a chat show. X-rated films will air four nights a week after midnight.

Italy's Gay-TV became Europe's first gay network in May 2002, free to satellite dish owners. The channel, owned by Dutch investor Coril, claims daily viewership of up to 500,000 Italians, half of whom are straight.

Another report has indicated that all gay networks and programmes count on a substantial portion of straight viewers, up to a third or more, for success.

In America, there is tremendous scope for channels devoted to gays and lesbians. In addition to an estimated 14 to 24 million lesbians and gays, there is also strong interest from the general population.

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