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Gay Television Network Sold

Toronto, Ontario The world’s first gay television network has been sold. Canada’s Pridevision network put itself on the market earlier this year after running into money problems.

The network, with a mix of old gay themed movies, campy chat shows, and overnight gay porn, went on the air in September 2001, but never took off. Few of the digital cable station’s employees were gay, and programming never resounded with LGBT viewers. An ad campaign that suggested Canadian gays had an obligation to buy the service was roundly criticized in the gay media.

But, the biggest problem the network faced was being placed on the digital dial, able to be received by only about 10 percent of the Canadian cable market. Only a fraction of that actually bought the service.

Pridevision owners, Headline Media Group, laid off most of the staff a year ago this month.

The new owner of the network, pending regulatory approval, is company controlled by Canadian broadcaster Bill Craig. The Craig group bought the station for $2.6 million (Cdn), which includes $1.1 million in debt.

Headline Media will retain 10 percent of the new company as well as foreign rights.

“I believe that there is a real opportunity for Pridevision TV in Canada,” Craig said in a statement.

“The GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) community needs and deserves this channel.”

Craig has held programming positions with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. as well as with TV Ontario and cable giant Rogers. He has also served as a senior policy analysts at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the government agency which regulated the broadcast industry.



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