Contact: Logo On Course

Now several months old, Logo, MTV's gay channel that launched in June, has settled into a groove, pulling in some 20 national advertisers and a subscriber base that will soon be up to 18 million.

This is a far cry from MTV's broader-based general-interest networks. But MTV believes taking a leap into gay-themed entertainment will be the next niche business. The network is also working on a number of niche ethnic programming services.

Logo is programming reality, scripted series, and movies. Reality-TV shows include "First Comes Love," which helps gay and lesbian couples fulfill their dreams of having a wedding. One of the scripted series is "Noah's Arc," about black men living in Los Angeles. Movies such as "Angels in America" and "Philadelphia" are also scheduled to air.

Logo takes over where some smaller players have gone before. Here! TV and Q Television are smaller-size ad-hoc pay TV cable gay networks. Logo's major cable and satellite distributors are with Comcast, Charter, Adelphia, RCN, Time Warner Cable, and DirecTV.

The next big hurdle for the young network is to get Nielsen rating coverage, which, according to Watson, could occur a year or two down the road. Typically, Nielsen looks for a cable network to have 20 to 25 million subscribers before it's statistically viable to issue viewership data. That doesn't bother Logo's base of advertisers just yet. "The frustration for advertisers who buy gay media is that it has been limited to print and online," said Tom Watson, vice president of advertising sales for Logo. Logo's major advertisers include Subaru, Tylenol PM, Miller Lite, Motorola, and Paramount Pictures (a sister company of Logo and MTV). Watson says Logo has already done product placement, sweepstakes, and other marketing deals with the likes of beverage, automobile, and movie companies.

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