Gay channels grow reach in Quebec

OUTtv, the general interest gay lifestyle channel, and HARDtv, its re-launched adults-only counterpart, are hitting some new regional markets in Quebec.

Canada’s first gay specialty channels, OUTtv and the newly re-branded and interactive HARDtv, are expanding their reach into Quebec’s digital TV markets. The channels will become part of the Quebecor-owned Videotron’s Illico Digital TV (as part of two packages that allow viewers to choose 30 channels for $30). OUTtv, a gay lifestyle and general interest channel, which owns and operates the adults-only gay channel HARDtv, currently has over 300,000 subscribers across Canada. Videotron’s Illico Digital TV has almost 600,000 subscribers.

In Quebec, both channels are currently available in Grand Montreal, Sorel, Gatineau, Rockland, Riviere-du-Loup, Saguenay, St-Felicien, Mont-Laurier, and Maniwaki, to name a few. The expansion will extend the channels’ reach to Quebec North and St-Siméon. Both channels will mark the Feb. 28 expansion date with strategies aimed at drawing in new viewers. OUTtv will hit the new markets with a free three-month preview, while HARDtv go in with a price of $9.99 (HARDtv’s service prices range from $9.99 to $11.95).

HARDtv, a commercial-free adult hardcore erotica channel, re-branded and re-launched this month. The channel is also launching an interactive show that allows viewers to interact with the live TV show via the Internet. Boyscondo TV Live, an adult male voyeur show, launches March 1 and will air Thursdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays at 9pm EST/PST.

OUTtv is currently owned by Vancouver-based prodco Shavick Entertainment (52%), Toronto’s Pink Triangle Press (23%), Toronto-based prodco Peace Point Entertainment Group (15%) and Score Media Group (10%). Click here to read Playback Magazine’s August 7, 2006 story about the company’s ownership.