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Youth
 
Canadian 'GayTV' Channel Hopeful Files with CRTC
 
ONLINE:   TUESDAY APRIL 4, 5:31 PM EST (GMT-5).

A Hamilton television broadcaster filed a Letter of Intent yesterday with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission with a view to launching a Canadian GLBT cable TV station.

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John Levy, owner of the cable station Headline Sports, submitted the document which precedes the actual application, said observer Keith Maidment, Community Liaison for Toronto's Rainbow Radio.

"The Levy family out of Hamilton has an established TV and internet presence," said Mr. Maidment.  "They put forth a Letter of Intent for what will be called either PrideVision or OutTV."

An official application won't be due until likely next week.  Although many Letters of Intent are submitted whenever the CRTC announces new channel licensing, fewer make it to the actual application stage, and often many drop out during the long and tedious process of competing for a license.

The station would provide a mix of news and information programming including health, travel, biographies of prominent gays and lesbians, cooking, decorating, and movies.
 
 
Headline Sports is a mainstream company which is small and independent, similar to Toronto's CKMW (HITS 103.5 FM).  The latter is behind the application for Rainbow Radio.  CRTC hearing were held on that in February and a decision is expected in May.  If successful in being granted one of the FM or AM licenses available, Rainbow Radio will be the first GLBT radio station in North America and the second in the world (behind Brisbane, Australia).

"All of us should be supporting [the Levy Letter of Intent] in principle," continued Mr. Maidment.  "With the application we'll see what they're going to do and what interest they're going to take," he concluded, in reference to the fact that PrideVision / OutTV is not a Community initiative.

CKMW Station Manager Carmela Laurignano was quoted in the National Post Friday as saying the TV station would provide a mix of news and information programming including health, travel, biographies of prominent gays and lesbians, cooking, decorating, and movies.  "[It] would be a great bridge between the gay community and the straight community ... a good educational medium," she said.

The Post reported that the CRTC is prepared to license 10 new channels.  These are of a digital nature, will be premium, and apparently not all Canadian households have the technology required to view them.  Cable companies will be required to carry some of them but the others will have to negotiate carriage.

More details will be available if and when an actual application is filed.