Here! TV Builds Its Carriage Base

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San Francisco— Here! TV has extended its distribution base while expanding its programming roster.

Executives at the gay-targeted premium service last Tuesday said the network has closed subscription on-demand carriage pacts with Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. With these new affiliation agreements added in, Here! is now available to 40 million subscribers, according to officials at the service.

With the Comcast pact, the MSO will offer Here! on a transactional VOD basis for $3.99 a title, service president Andrew Tow said at a National Show press conference.

“Here!’s niche appeal and wide library of movies and specials is a natural fit for our On Demand service, and offers customers new and relevant entertainment choices,” Comcast On Demand general manager Page Thompson said in a statement.

For its part, Cox has started rolling out Here! as a subscription service for $6.95 a month.

“Here! brings a variety of programming choices for our On Demand lineup that only digital cable customers can access,” Cox senior vice president of programming Bob Wilson said in a statement.

Here! also unveiled its 2005 original programming slate, which includes made-for-TV movies, miniseries, specials and new skeins.

The roster includes: John Waters Presents, a film series hosted by the legendary director; Bayard Rustin, a biopic about the noted African-American civil rights leaders who was gay; and An Evening With Paul Lynde, a one-man show about the actor-comedian-TV star, starring Michael Airington; Ice Blues: A Donald Strachey Mystery, a telefilm sequel about a gay detective in upstate New York; Hollywoodland, a miniseries, featuring full-length motion pictures based on the behind-the-scenes tales of Tinseltown’s golden era from 1920-1960; and original series Ryan’s Life, about a gay teenager coming out and navigating the hilarious and harrowing waters of teenage dating.

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