Pay TV service competing for cable-op deals

NEW YORK — Pridevision, the Canadian cable TV network geared to gays and lesbians that’s seeking a foothold in the U.S., has hired Mark Lieber as senior programming adviser.

The American, whose previous jobs have included president of TV for animation studio Film Roman and senior VP of Polygram Entertainment, said that if Pridevision is successful at obtaining carriage deals from cable operators in the U.S., he’ll get the title senior VP of programming for the American version of the network.

Pridevision, a pay TV service, is competing for cable-operator deals with a still-to-be-named network being developed by MTV and its sister company Showtime.

A tentative programming strategy is already on the drawing boards for Pridevision America, Lieber said. Since no cable operators or satellite distributors in the U.S. have signed up for the service yet, Lieber hasn’t begun production on any new programming.

In the works, he said, are a light talkshow hosted by a well-known gay celebrity; a magazine-style show; a visual guide to what’s going on in movies, TV and music of interest to gays; a show called “Kiss & Tell” in which lesbians will bare their souls as they sit in confessional booths set up in lesbian bars; and a sex-therapy hour similar to MTV’s “Loveline.”

Lieber succeeds Bruce Glawson, who has resigned as VP of programming.

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