Gay porn & Wonder Woman team up for french gay TV
Marc Burleigh | October 25, 2004
PARIS — Gay porn and Wonder Woman repeats are to be offered in heavy
doses on television in France from Monday as the country's first
station aimed at homosexuals starts operations via cable and
Pink TV, a channel largely financed by the three main existing
commercial networks, plans to present a mix of respectable
programming and spicy niche shows to draw in a segment of the
viewing population it boasts advertisers want because of their
supposed higher incomes and lack of dependents.
Most importantly, it sees the time as ripe for such a venture,
given the increasing acceptance of the gay lifestyle in France and
other European countries.
The open homosexuality of Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, the
recent court approval for France's first gay family headed by two
lesbians, a June wedding of two men that has sparked a debate over
gay marriages and a government push to stamp out homophobic crimes
all back its argument.
The announcement of the channel's launch a month ago has
generated mostly welcoming reports in the mainstream press.
The left-leaning Liberation newspaper dedicated its weekend
front page and three following pages to the new station, while news
magazines also gave splashy play.
The most written-about aspect is Pink TV's obsession with sex –
most notably its four gay pornographic movies to be screened each
week after midnight.
The first male skin flick, Out of Athens, will be shown late
Monday, some three hours after the channel is received in homes
that have paid the nine-euro (11-dollar) monthly subscription fee.
The lesbian side of the formula will kick off next month with
Madame and Eve, according to the station's programmers, who have
made no secret of their hopes that straight viewers will also be
drawn to their line-up.
For audiences looking for the softer subtext of homosexuality –-
and sharing the appreciation of certain gay icons – the channel
will have a daily helping of Wonder Woman, the 1970s US superhero
series starring Lynda Carter.
Also on the menu are English-language series such as Queer as
Folk, Metrosexuality, and French and Saunders along with
documentaries of celebrities like Freddy Mercury.
Sports coverage, fittingly enough, will be handled by a tall
transsexual in heels and a skirt known as Brigitte Boreale.
The question is: Will the experiment prove viable?
The owners, starting with CEO Pascal Houzelot, a former
executive with France's top TV network TF1 who also worked for
Jacques Chirac before he came president, believe so.
They hope to have 180,000 subscribers within two years, with
advertisers making up 20 percent of Pink TV's revenues, and keeping
its budget to 12 million euros.
Pink TV is presenting its future viewers as a young "gay and
gay-friendly" crowd with a high disposable income and a taste for
But, as Liberation pointed out, big companies with huge
advertising budgets, such as Proctor and Gamble or Danone, have not
yet come calling.
The channel's advertising mananger, Olivier Cariou, told the
newspaper that that would change soon. Pink TV, he said, "is being
seen as something urban, trendy and hip."
A similar gay channel launched in Canada in 2001, Pridevision,
and Gay TV which started in Italy a year later are struggling, but
the niche continues to be tapped abroad, observers noted, pointing
to Logo, a station for homosexuals in the United States which is to
begin broadcasting next March. – Sapa-AFP
Wonder Woman to launch France's 1st gay TV station [30/09/2004]