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June 30, 2001 07:31pm
Playboy to Buy Porn Channels
Source: AP

(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- Playboy Enterprise, up to now a purveyor of softcore fare, has agreed to buy three TV channels that air hardcore pornography, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Terms of the deal could not be learned, the Times said, but industry sources and analysts estimated the Vivid Video channels could be worth more than $50 million. Playboy was expected to announce the deal Monday.

Vivid TV, the Hot Network and Hot Zone, which reach about 30 million homes, offer more explicit fare than the softcore Playboy TV channel and Playboy's two Spice networks.

Playboy announced plans to enter the hardcore market last year by proposing three Spice Platinum channels. But no cable or satellite operators have agreed to distribute them, partly because they already had deals with Vivid or other competitors.

Van Nuys-based Vivid, a major producer of adult programming, already supplies softcore porn for the Playboy channel.

After-hours calls seeking comment from Vivid and Chicago-based Playboy Enterprises were not immediately returned Saturday.

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