Cable Operators

Logo Launch Delayed Until June 30

1/13/2005 9:17 AM Eastern

MTV Networks is delaying the launch of Logo, its gay- and lesbian-targeted network, by four months, to June 30, officials said Thursday.

The network had been scheduled to bow Feb. 17, but that date was pushed back to enable Logo to line up more distribution and to offer more key original and acquired programming when it debuts, according to Brian Graden, president of Logo and president of entertainment for the MTVN Music Group.

By June, Logo will be able to roll out to 10 million subscribers, Graden said, rather than just the few million it would have had next month.

MTVN is in the final stages of negotiations for a carriage deal with Comcast Corp., Graden said, and the programmer has pacts with Adelphia Communications Corp. and RCN Corp. Time Warner Cable in Manhattan will also be carrying Logo.

In the meantime, Logo is putting its programming in place, and it has signed up three charter advertisers in three major categories: Subaru of America Inc., Paramount Pictures and Orbitz LLC.

Graden -- who wasn’t put in charge of Logo until October -- has green-lit three original series and made a major acquisition: Home Box Office’s 11-time Emmy Award-winner, Angels in America.

Since Logo is such an important and much-awaited project for both MTVN and the gay community, with high visibility, Graden said he “wanted to come out with a complete channel,” with all of the programming he wanted in place.

In beginning to put together Logo’s programming schedule, Graden said he wanted the channel to reflect and appeal to all segments of the gay population, its “diverse tapestry.”

So Logo’s first bunch of original series includes: Noah’s Arc, a scripted comedy-drama about African-American men in Los Angeles; My Fabulous Gay Wedding,featuring about-to-be-married gay and lesbian couples; and Cruise,from the producers of MTV: Music Television’s The Real World, about a gay ocean-liner cruise.

Logo will also have a diverse documentary slate under the moniker “Momentum.” That will include documentaries on gay Republicans, gay rodeo, a gay rugby team in Chicago, gay fraternities and sororities and one called In the Name of Allah about beinggay in the conservative Muslim world.

“We’re trying to hit all ages, all creeds, all backgrounds,” Graden said.

Logo has also completed a round of theatrical and TV acquisitions, topped by Angels but also including Mulholland Drive, Being John Malkovich, Party Monster and the U.S. premiere of Colin Farrell’s A Home at the End of the World.

“I want Logo to be the ultimate aggregator [of gay content],” Graden said.

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