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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » A GLBT Channel?

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Author Topic: A GLBT Channel?
Dude_who_writes
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While reading through my e-mail today, I came across this story at Planet Out about a possible upcomming premium cable network (think HBO or Showtime) that has been developed specifically for all-GLBT programming called Outlet. It's being developed by Viacom (the owner of Showtime, MTV, CBS, and Nickelodeon, to name a few of their ventures) and, according to a leaked memo, is set to launch sometime next spring.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this idea. For one thing, I like the idea of showcasing programming (and I'm hoping that they do intend to offer programming beyond the campy sitcom, love Will & Grace as I do) specifically for the GLBT community, but at the same time, I'm not 100 percent comfortable with the segergation. It has the potential of becoming a cop out -- "We've developed a drama based around the lives of gay characters -- let's dump it on Outlet." I really don't want to see a channel developed for GLTB programming used as yet another reason to keep such programming out of the mainstream media.

Thoughs?

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Tim
Scarleteen Advocate

I am not Dr. Freud, nor is he on staff. The talking cure this ain't.

[This message has been edited by Dude_who_writes (edited 12-14-2002).]


Posts: 712 | From: Michigan, US | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
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Nyah nyah! We've already got one.

I had access to Pridevision here for about three or four months (about this time last year) because when they started up, it was free. Since then, they've been shafted by most of the cable and satellite distributors in Canada.

Lemme ramble a bit.

When Pridevision started up last year, there were about 50 other digital cable and satellite channels that started at the same time. Cable and satellite companies bundled most of the channels together in packages that would likely interest people (movie channels were all put into the same package, sports channels, etc.). But when the game stopped, one channel was left without partners - Pridevision. So, while I can purchase a package of 5 new sports-related channels from my satellite operator for about 5 or 6 extra dollars a month, Pridevision is on its own, and for some reason it alone costs $7.95/month.

Now, from what I saw, Pridevision is a nice little endeavour that I'd be happy to support (there's some programming on there that I would watch). However, no single channel is worth $7.95/month to me.

Sounds to me, Tim, as though you'd be reasonably happy with the programming that they offer on Pridevision. There are no sitcoms (least there weren't when I had access to it). The schedule was mostly filled with dramas, lifestyle shows that seemed to be hosted by gay people and, after midnight, movies that most people wouldn't want their children to see.

When it first showed up on the scene, I had some of the same concerns you did, about ghetto-ization of gay culture. Now that the cable and satellite companies have screwed over Pridevision my concerns are greater than ever before.

I read in the paper a month or two ago, that Pridevision had a miniscule subscriber base, because of all of this and that they had laid off about 2/3 of the staff. They've halted all original programming (of which there was a surprisingly large amount, originally) until they can get their finances in order. Frankly, things look very bleak for the channel, and I'd be very surprised if it survived another two years.

As one last note, there is one other channel in Canada which goes out of its way to draw gay viewers, Showcase. Showcase is around for the long-haul, and it is already well-established and profitable. It is by no means exclusively gay, but they do a lot of out reach to Canada's gay communities, and they feature a fair bit of gay-friendly programming.

Edited to add: you can see at the Pridevision web site that it claims to only have 20,000 subscribers right now. They're on a big subscription push to get to 50,000. If it sounds like peanuts to you, that's because it is, even in the microscopic Canadian TV universe.

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"Will you help him change the world? Can you dig it?"
"Yes I can!"
-Chicago, Saturday in the Park (Yeah, yeah. Shut up.)

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 12-14-2002).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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well, the same claims can be made about other demographically-targeted programming (like Lifetime television for women).

I suppose it depends on the aim of such a television channel. Do they intend to demarginalize a certain group? do they mean to showcase specialty programming (as you said) or are they just out for viewers and advertising $$$?

Are these things necessary? Can network television simply diversify its programming lineup to include shows that would appeal to otherwise marginalized populations of viewers (or should network tv -- like FOX -- try to expan shows with universal appeal -- like The Simpsons )?

My thoughts on targeted tv are in the other thread, but i'd love to see this discussion expand. I'd also love to have cable so I can watch FoodNetwork, but I don't

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Correlation does not equal causation.


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Dude_who_writes
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And yet another possible issue --

As was mentioned in the article, this is inteneded to be a premium-access channel, meaning roughly $7 to $12 extra bucks a month to add it to your cable package, because as a lot of us know, cable tv isn't cheap to begin with. Do I like the idea that this type of channel would exist, but I'd be much happier if it were inteneded to be somewhat cheaper and more widely available. Would I want to subscribe? Yes. Would I be willing to take that 12 bucks away from The Sopranos? Sorry, no. And I know I'm not in the monority, on that one.

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Tim
Scarleteen Advocate

I am not Dr. Freud, nor is he on staff. The talking cure this ain't.

[This message has been edited by Dude_who_writes (edited 12-14-2002).]


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dude_who_writes:
As was mentioned in the article, this is inteneded to be a premium-access channel, meaning roughly $7 to $12 extra bucks a month to add it to your cable package...

And that is a pretty big issue too, because that will obviously result in the channel having a relatively limited audience. I get "enhanced" basic cable only, and can't really afford premium channels. So no Sopranos or anything cool like that for me. And that goes for a lot of people my age, recent college grads who are trying to get their stuff together, or people who are even younger and would no doubt be interested in such a channel.

I have no problem with their being a specific channel for the GLBT community, as there are already channels out there for all sorts of groups of people. But I'll have to agree that seeing more GLBT programming on mainstream (or even non-premium) channels would probably be a bigger bonus in the long term.

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BruinDan, "Number Three," PSOM

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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