May 31, 2000 10:28am
AT&T to carry sex programs on its cable systems
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Telecommunications giant AT&T Corp., which is set to become America's biggest cable TV operator when it acquires MediaOne Group Inc., said Wednesday it planned to carry adult movies on its cable systems.
``It will be more explicit than you see on the Playboy channel, but not like the (X-rated) stuff you see in the video store,'' said Tracy Hollingsworth, a spokeswoman for AT&T Broadband.
She said the programming, which is already offered on MediaOne cable, will be available in a few months and strictly on a pay-per-view basis on digital systems. Digital set-top boxes offer control over which shows are sent into the home, allowing parents to block out particular channels, she said.
Hollingsworth declined to say how much the deal with The Hot Network, a hard-core adult-movie channel, was worth. Many big cable operators, including Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. have refused to include Hot Network content on their systems.
Asked if such programming was appropriate for a company with AT&T's long-standing reputation, Hollingsworth declined to comment. But, speaking from AT&T Broadband offices in Denver, she said the decision to show adult programming was partly to meet the needs of customers and ``remain competitive in the market.''
Last week, the Justice Department approved AT&T's $58 billion purchase of MediaOne on condition that the companies sell their interest in Internet venture Road Runner in the next 18 months.