Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Once-Conservative Adelphia Adds Hard-Core Porn to Cable

Thanks to Mover Mike for carrying this report from the Los Angeles Times:

Once-Conservative Adelphia Adds Hard-Core Porn to Cable

By Sallie Hofmeister, Times Staff Writer

Porn is suddenly sexy to a cable TV company once considered the industry prude.

Adelphia Communications Corp. has quietly become the nation's only leading cable operator to offer the most explicit category of hard-core porn. Come Friday, triple-X-rated programming will be available on cable for the first time in a major media market: Southern California.

"People want it, so we are trying to provide it," Adelphia spokeswoman Erica Stull said. "The more Xs, the more popular."

Stull stressed that the programming, supplied by Playboy Enterprises Inc., would not be advertised and could be blocked to prevent children from watching. It will be delivered through video-on-demand technology, available now to about two-thirds of Adelphia's 1.2 million Southern California subscribers.

The move is a radical departure for Adelphia, the largest cable provider in Southern California and the nation's fifth biggest. Five years ago, Adelphia stirred a local controversy by dropping Spice — a popular soft-porn channel — from newly acquired cable systems here because Adelphia founder John Rigas considered X-rated programming immoral.

Today, the 80-year-old Rigas and one of his sons are facing prison terms after being convicted last summer for looting the company and engaging in fraudulent accounting.

Adelphia, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002, currently is on the block. During the last year, in an effort to bolster Adelphia's bottom line, the company's new management has begun offering softer porn in various areas of the country and, in recent months, has introduced the hardest-core programming in a few markets.

Read the whole report here.

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