OUTtv, here! team ink programming deal


TORONTO -- Canadian gay lifestyle cable channel OUTtv on Monday unveiled a programming and supply agreement with its U.S.-based counterpart here! network to jointly produce original TV series.

The move comes after Toronto-based OUTtv and here! last year pacted on two telefilms, the Donald Strachey mysteries "Ice Blues" and "On the Other Hand, Death."

As part of their agreement, OUTtv will sell 60 hours of Canadian-made programming to here!, including "Chris and John to the Rescue" and "Cover Guy."

In turn, OUTtv has acquired the supernatural series "Dante's Cove" and a number of feature films from the here! library.

The deal was announced by Vancouver-based producer James Shavick, whose Shavick Entertainment acquired ma jority control of OUTtv in 2006.

The Canadian gay and lesbian channel was originally licensed in 2001 as a must-carry cable channel, but ran into opposition from domestic cable carriers that did not want to offend their viewers with its adult content. The channel was originally launched as a premium pay channel called Pride Vision.

Shavick said that OUTtv has built up a subscriber base that now stands at about 500,000 customers nationwide.