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Playgirl Dresses Up as PPV Channel

Upstart adult network Blu-TV has teamed up with adult-magazine publisher Blue Horizon Media Inc. to create three adult-oriented pay-per-view networks, including the first aimed exclusively at women.

The new venture, Trans Digital Media LLC, will convert Blue Horizon’s popular Playgirl magazine brand into Playgirl TV, a 24-hour PPV network that is scheduled to launch in March, Trans Digital president Mark Graff said.

Blu-TV, which was set to launch next year, will be renamed and launched as a video-on-demand service under the High Society moniker during the first-quarter 2004, along with Cheri, an adult reality and lifestyles network

Playgirl TV would be the first adult-PPV network to truly target females. Despite the male-skewing appeal of adult-PPV networks, Graff said, women make up one-third of all adult-PPV buys.

Along with females, Graff also said the network will all tap an underserved audience of homosexual men. "[A total of] 50% of Playgirl’s readership is male, so it’s an interesting way of tapping into the gay market without having to scream, ‘We have a gay channel,’" he added.

Graff said the service has generated favorable responses from operators, although no carriage deals have been consummated. Graff would not reveal PPV splits for the service, but operators typically keep as much as 80%-90% of each adult PPV buy.

The network will not only offer adult movies, but profiles of male models and laymen around the world. "We’ll also have content from female filmmakers who are both producing and starring in adult programming," Graff said.

The network will retail for between $9.95-$12.95, according to Graff, and will be offered in 90-minute and three-hour blocks. Playgirl TV will benefit from cross-promotions within Playgirl, as well as 13 other Blue Horizon-published adult titles, reaching 2 million subscribers per month.

For more on Trans Digital, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page two of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.