Viacom Gay-Net Proposal on Life Support

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Hollywood, Calif. -- Viacom Inc. has all but shelved its proposed gay-themed
network, according to Showtime Networks Inc. chairman and CEO Matt Blank.

Blank, speaking Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's summer
press tour here, said the volatility of the cable marketplace has made it
difficult to launch any new channel from scratch, even though the concept of a
network based on gay and lesbian culture was well received by operators.

Viacom last year announced plans to launch a premium-based gay-targeted
channel, with Showtime and MTV Networks co-managing the service.

"We were very excited about the prospect of a gay channel, [but] frankly, the
market for introducing new channels is a little difficult," Blank said. "It's
something we'd like to do, and who knows what the future holds, but right now,
we're not going ahead."

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