South Africa has become the first southern African country to launch a video-on-demand channel streaming content that exclusively tells “stories of Africa’s gay, lesbians, bisexual and transgender community”.
There has been no immediate public reaction to the launch and the television channel management has not revealed if they have plans to eventually make available the channel in other southern African countries. There also has been no response from the broadcasting and communication regulatory authorities regarding the launch.
A statement issued this week by the channel, Pride TV, says “traditional TV channels have historically offered only small smatterings of one-dimensional LGBT [lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender] content, which ironically reinforces stereotypes, instead of shattering them.”
“PrideTV reverses the trend to restrict access to LGBT themes by South African and African broadcasters,” Joanne Raphael Katz, Pride TV content manager said in the statement.
The channel says it aims to provide South Africa, and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, with an affordable and growing library of LGBT movies and series.
The channel’s website features an array of movies and series categorised as ‘lesbian comedy’, ‘gay drama’, and ‘transgender documentary’.
“It’s about time the neglected LGBT community has a voice, with content that spans all the issues that people can relate to. Not to mention the entertainment value that we are offering,” says Katz. Around 65 percent of the content is gay male focused and 35 percent deals with lesbian and transgender themes.
One can subscribe on the channel’s website for a monthly cost of N$79. There is also an option of a yearly subscription. Payments are by credit cards or by mobile billing systems.