NEWS: Consortium applies for rights to launch first gay TV channel

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 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

sponsors.’



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

network.



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.’