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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.