Marvin Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Co-Media, Inc. announced that the company will launch its Gay Television Network (GTN), to be aired on Dish Satellite Network, beginning February 2, 2001.
"This project has been eight years in the making," said Jenkins. "We have finally overcome the obstacles of distribution, availability of programming and acceptance in the advertising community."
Gay Television Network is available only through the Dish Network, the digital satellite subscriber system, as a Premium Channel choice. Sign up for their Basic Package, which includes 150 channels of TV and audio programming, and for an extra charge of $19.95 the subscriber will receive GTN and, as a bonus, a gay Internet radio channel. If one signs up now, one gets the 18-inch satellite dish and installation free.
"In the beginning programming will be 7 days a week, 12 hours weekdays and 24 hours per day on weekends," explained Jenkins. "Programming will include news, information and entertainment especially for the gay and lesbian community. We will eventually have original programming, such as "Gay Dating Game," "Gay Court," "Gay Bandstand," and 40 new movies each month. We will be covering events such as Gay Olympics, Gay Rodeos, Gay Conferences and Gay Prides all over the nation, as well as the activities surrounding the Nabisco (Dinah Shore) Golf Tournament."
The initial film schedule includes "Claire de Lune," "Red Rain," "Defying Gravity," "Latin Boys Go to Hell," "Twisted," "All the Rage," "It's in the Water," "A Boy Named Sue," "Caravaggio," and "Edward II."
Produced programs planned include a morning talk show, "Good Morning, Gay America;" "Gay Archives," a one hour program which traces gay life in New York and Los Angeles in the early days of the '70s and '80s; "Gay Pride, Palm Springs;" music video shows; "Gay Across the Globe," an hour special that documents international gay happenings; "Mardi Gras 2000," a documentary on the hot celebrations down under from Sydney, Australia; and religious services broadcast live from Fort Lauderdale's Sunshine Cathedral and Dallas' Cathedral of Hope.
In the near future we will be adding a cooking show hosted by transvestite Betty Delicious, as well as a gay history program. Also planned is a Girls' Night, featuring lesbian-themed films, and a Boys' Night.
Gay producers and gay writers have been producing programs for years. Co-Media, Inc., GTN, combined with the Dish Network, provides an ideal distribution system for the entire GLBT community.
Through trade ads in the gay press, their subscriber base is projected at 10,000 during the first few months; it currently stands at about 2,000. Naturally the Dish Network's subscriber base of 5 million is a rich resource for new viewers.