The growth in gay consumers’ spending power is set to create a new TV
channel aimed at gay viewers and their heterosexual supporters, which is
set to launch early next year.
The Rainbow Television Network, a consortium of businessmen, has applied
to the Independent Television Commission for a ten-year licence,
outlining plans for a cable channel that will show mainly light
entertainment programmes. Pornography is not on the agenda.
Although an ITC spokes-man confirmed that it has received an
application, he stressed that no licence has yet been issued.
The channel hopes to broadcast between 6pm and 2am daily.
Mike Johnson, a spokes-man for Rainbow, revealed that it plans to show a
mix of films, music, fashion, leisure and travel programmes. Some will
be commissioned by Rainbow, while others will be bought in.
Johnson commented: ‘We are targeting a large niche market, and we expect
to be successful. There are gay people in all walks of life, and in all
professions. I have no qualms whatsoever about getting advertisers and
He continued: ‘In the past four years there has been a tremendous surge
in gay spending power, with a lot of new magazines and TV programmes
starting up. A TV station is the next logical stage in the development
of the market.’
Rainbow is signing up backers and promises to announce the support of a
number of big names this year, as well as a deal with an established TV
Rainbow is keen to present itself as a serious player in the market.
Johnson said: ‘We don’t want to be underfunded, and will steer clear of
stereotypes so that we attract the broadest audience possible.’