Here! TV Is Here and Premium

Here! TV, formerly just an on-demand and pay-per-view service targeting gay audiences, launched as a 24-hour premium network Friday.

The linear mini-pay channel is now available to distributors, debuting right on schedule Oct. 1. Here! TV plans to announce its first major carriage deal for that round-the-clock network later this month, CEO Paul Colichman said.

“It is up as a 24-hour service,” he said, adding that the feed was up on a satellite. “We’re very pleased with our progress.”

Colichman said pricing for the 24-hour premium channel will vary, but he didn’t offer specifics. He said the linear network will have “simply more programming” than the VOD, subscription-VOD and PPV offerings.

The 24-hour Here! feed is using the Playboy Channel model: Subscribers can buy a program block or upgrade to the 24-hour linear feed for a monthly subscription fee.

Whereas Logo -- the 24-hour network for gay audiences MTV Networks will roll out in February -- can launch on digital tiers, independent Here! TV lacks Viacom Inc.’s clout and distribution leverage. That’s one reason why Here! TV is going the mini-pay route.

The on-demand Here! TV is available to about 25 million subscribers. DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network offer it on PPV, and RCN Corp. carries it as an SVOD service.

Here! TV’s varied on-demand services are available to cable via In Demand and TVN Entertainment Corp., with Time Warner Cable in Wisconsin among those offering the VOD service.

For more on Here! TV, please see Linda Moss’ story on page 10 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.