MTV has announced that it will launch Logo, a new cable network aimed at gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered viewers, on February 17, 2005. The advertiser-supported channel will offer a mix of original and acquired programming. "Creating a network specifically for the LGBT community is something we've wanted to do for a long, long time, and it's an idea we feel is overdue," MTV Networks chairman and CEO Tom Freston said in a statement. "Despite our nation's progress on civil rights and the growing visibility of gay people in business, society, and even in television programming, what has been missing is a full-time home for this important and influential audience on television. We have big plans and hopes for Logo, and I'm thrilled to finally announce its arrival."
Viacom, MTV's parent company, had announced tentative plans for a gay cable channel--at one point rumored to be called "Outlet"--for several years. Original programming will be developed in collaboration with other Viacom networks, including Showtime, CBS, VH1, MTV, Comedy Central, and TV Land. Deals are also being made to acquire over 100 movie titles from various studios, including Sony, MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros., Lions Gate, and Strand Releasing.
"Logo is all about identity: The individual and collective identities present in the gay and lesbian community that are amazingly diverse but are joined by similar points of view and sensibilities," said MTV Networks Music and Comedy Group president Judy McGrath in a statement. "MTV Networks has a great history of connecting deeply with its audiences, and it's our great hope that gay and lesbian audiences will connect with Logo like viewers connect with our other strong brands."