MTV unveils new gay cable TV channel Saying they are building the television "home" for GLBT viewers, executives from MTV Networks announced Tuesday the creation of Logo, a basic cable channel that will launch next February. The channel -- which has been in planning stages for at least two years within MTV's parent company, Viacom, and was once said to be called Outlet -- is expected to roll out on Feb. 17, 2005, with a mixture of 75 percent acquired/licensed programming and 25 percent original series and specials. "What has been missing is a home on TV that this audience can call their own," MTV Networks CEO Tom Freston told reporters during a conference call. "With this new network, we're going to start making that home." The name of the channel, Logo, encompasses many different ideas about identity, according to the channel's Web site. Judy McGrath, president of the MTV Networks group, said the vision of Logo is to reflect the diversity of the GLBT community, and the slogan is "different together." McGrath added that the channel already has 40 original series and specials in development, with 20 in the pilot phase. Many of the offerings will result from partnerships with "sister networks" in Viacom -- MTV, VH1, TV Land and CBS' news division. More than 100 movie titles have also been acquired or licensed. The network will release more details about the programming at the annual TV Critics Association meeting in July. Contrary to earlier expectations, the new channel will not be a premium offering. As a basic cable channel, it will be more widely available to cable subscribers but will also be subject to stricter broadcast standards for basic cable. Unedited versions of "Queer As Folk" and "The L-Word" from Viacom's Showtime premium network, for example, will not air on Logo. Freston said creating the channel as a basic cable offering would mean "bigger business potential by being more widely available." He predicted the channel will break even in two or three years. The move to basic cable will also position Logo with similar channels that target segments of the viewing audience, such as women or racial minorities. A related video-on-demand channel is also in the works, the MTV executives said, for "edgier fare." It will compete with here! TV, which is the first U.S. gay video-on-demand service. Here! TV also announced plans last month to augment its programming, with over 20 original series currently in development. Also on the GLBT television landscape is premium cable channel PrideVision, currently available in Canada. It has struggled to make a profit and was acquired last December. GLBT groups applauded the announcement from MTV Networks on Tuesday. "This channel has enormous potential -- and who better to make the investment than the network that has brought us 'The Real World'?" said Joan Garry, executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), who also was part of the management team that launched MTV. "MTV has the two main ingredients necessary for success: a solid programming track record and an unwavering commitment to our stories, our issues and our lives." "For 25 years we've said we want our MTV. Now we want our Logo too," Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. "MTV has been an extraordinary leader in educating a new generation of Americans about equality and fairness."