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Playboy TV eyes sexy new service

Aug 27, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Playboy Television Networks is developing a subscription video-on-demand service called Instant Access.
The television division of the adult entertainment distributor is aiming to begin trials of the groundbreaking service with cable operators early next year, said Bill Furrelle, Playboy Television Networks vice president of sales and marketing.
Instant Access will only be offered to digital cable customers who are already monthly subscribers to Playboy Television programming. The network’s traditional package of scheduled television shows is offered on a pay-per-view basis or for a single monthly subscription fee, depending on the particular cable system. Viewers currently paying the monthly subscription fee would be offered a supplementary Instant Access SVOD subscription for “a charge of three or four dollars a month,” in addition to the basic Playboy Television subscription charge, which runs between $9.99 and $21.99 per month, depending on the system, Mr. Furrelle said.
Playboy TV is planning to include in its SVOD lineup a wide selection of its previously aired original programming, including episodes of the Playboy TV series “Naughty Amateur Home Videos,” “Sexcetera,” “Night Calls,” “Night Calls 411,” “Sex Court” and “Sexy Urban Legends.”
“Some of those shows have a very loyal fan base,” Mr. Furrelle said. “It makes us think that the potential for SVOD is huge.”
Although the SVOD offering will center around Playboy TV’s original programming, Playboy has also licensed to Diva, a video-on-demand service provider, collections of adult film titles to which Playboy had acquired rights from third-party adult film studios. “We have deals in place with 12 of the top 14 adult film producers,” Mr. Furrelle said.
Aside from its video-on-demand plans, Playboy TV is experimenting with several other untested adult programming genres. In October, the studio will unveil a new digital pay-per-view channel, Spice Platinum Live. The channel will be Playboy’s first television outlet to feature live adult interaction on a daily basis. To date, two Playboy TV series-“Night Calls” and “Night Calls 411”-have offered live events once a week, and the adult distributor’s signature network sporadically features live pay-per-view events.
The forthcoming channel’s Viewers will have an opportunity to interact with the events through a synchronized Internet broadcast at Playboy TV’s Spicetv.com Web site.
“The Spice Platinum Live channel has gotten an enormous amount of interest from cable operators because this is something totally new in the realm of adult programming,” Mr. Furrelle said.
Playboy TV will also premiere in October a new quasi-reality series called “7 Lives Xposed.” The show will chronicle the misadventures of several neighbors in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood who thrust themselves into the limelight by recording their sexual interactions on Internet-enabled cameras. Although the series will be a scripted drama, it will simulate the spontaneity of the broadcast networks’ reality shows.