Playmen TV logo
|Launched||April 12, 2005|
|Owned by||Fifth Dimension Properties|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Replaced||HARD on PrideVision (2005–2006)|
|Shaw Direct||Channel 679|
|Cablovision Warwick||Channel 226|
|Rogers Cable||Channel 768|
Playmen TV is a Canadian English language Category B specialty channel. It is a premium adult entertainment television channel aimed at gay men, with programming consisting mainly of adult films and adult-related television series.
Playmen TV's licensee is 4510810 Canada Inc. which is wholly owned by Fifth Dimension Properties Inc., a company wholly owned by Stuart Duncan, majority owner of Ten Broadcasting.
PrideVision was launched in 2001 as Canada's first digital specialty service aimed towards the LGBT community. However, PrideVision had been unattractive to providers because of the gay pornographic programming it aired during east coast late-night hours, which would be broadcast as early as 10:00 p.m. in the Pacific Time Zone. Providers chose to package PrideVision as a standalone, premium adult channel rather than alongside other mainstream specialty channels—which hampered the network's reach. Shaw controversially required viewers to go through an authorization process, including a one-cent fee, to view the channel during its mandated free preview period. The provider considered this mechanism to be a response to the "overwhelming expressions of concern from our customers" over the adult content carried by the service, but PrideVision's owners filed a complaint to the CRTC alleging that Shaw was discriminating against the channel by refusing to give it a proper preview period, like the other digital channels that had also recently been launched. The CRTC reprimanded Shaw for its unfair treatment of PrideVision, and ordered that the provider properly offer a preview.
In 2003, PrideVision was sold to a consortium led by veteran broadcaster William Craig. in September 2004, the ownership group filed an application to the CRTC for a new premium specialty service tentatively named 617, which would be "devoted to adult entertainment for the gay genre audience." Later in November, PrideVision re-branded its adult programming block as Hard on PrideVision, and expanded it to run from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. ET in anticipation of the new channel.
In February 2005, Craig officially announced the Hard on PrideVision channel—a second 24-hour service devoted exclusively to gay adult programming, would launch in March 2005, alongside the re-launch of PrideVision under the new name OutTV. Craig argued that spinning off the pornographic content into a second service would allow more adult programming to be made available to viewers, while allowing OutTV to achieve wider carriage and increase its investments into programming of interest to the LGBT community. Hard on PrideVision's license was approved on March 4, 2005.
On July 19, 2006, Shavick Entertainment, a film and television producer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced their intent to purchase a majority stake in both HARD on PrideVision and OUTtv from then majority owner William Craig. The transaction was finalized later that year, with other investors shares changing to reflect Shavick's new ownership.
In November 2006, Hard on PrideVision was renamed HardTV.
On December 3, 2009, the CRTC approved an application on behalf of 4510810 Canada Inc, a newly formed company owned by Pink Triangle Press (55%) and Peace Point Entertainment (45%), that would see it acquire HardTV from 6166954 Canada Inc. The transaction closed at a later date.
In the spring of 2013 HardTV was rebranded Playmen TV after ownership in the company was transferred to Fifth Dimension Properties Inc. in April 2013.
- "Craig takes charge: PrideVision says bye-bye porn". Xtra!. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- CRTC Rules In Favor Of Gay-themed Channel; AllBusiness.com; 2001-10-02
- Galiant, Paul. "Struggle for your TV set: PrideVision, viewers challenge cable giant". Xtra!. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011.
- "Shaw defends 1¢ gay TV fee". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "CRTC Decision 2001-612". CRTC. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2004-6-2". CRTC. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "PrideVision changing its format in preparation of new adult-only channel". Press release. Archived from the original on 28 October 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "Pridevision Announces Expansion and the Launch of a New Gay Channel". Press release. Archived from the original on 28 October 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2005-89". CRTC. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- Shavick Entertainment Acquires OUTtv; Canada's Must-Carry Gay & Lesbian Television Network to be Expanded and Upgraded by Leading Production Company; BNET; 2006-07-19
- CRTC ownership chart
- Official website (Warning: Adult Content)