An adult channel refers to a dedication television channel that broadcasts explicit content, often of
a pay per view basis or as a subscription; where a customer pays monthly to view the channel.
Before the 9pm watershed on UK TV channels, adult channels often offer ‘previews’ of the
channel’s content. These previews are generally of a much less explicit nature and show female or
male actors posing in underwear.
After the watershed, adult channels become explicit and raunchy. One common ‘show’ on an adult
channel involves one or more performers on camera with a telephone or microphone. Viewers can
then call in on a premium rate line to talk to the performer and request that they perform specific
acts for the customer on screen. This type of show is also widely available on internet adult
channels, where the need for a two way phone call is eliminated. Users pay a subscription fee to
watch a show and can direct the performers from their keyboard. Often the performers will use a
microphone to talk directly to users and read requests out loud. The advantage of such a system is
that a number of users can be talking to one performer all at once.
Another type of adult channel ‘show’ commonly seen on adult channels after the water shed is the
pornographic film. These tend to take on loosely based plots and are centred mostly on sex
scenes. The titles of pornographic films are often spins on classic or recently released films. An
example of such is ‘Star Whores’. The content of the film tends to be themed around the film from
which its name was taken.
Despite adult channels airing pornographic films, it is rare for home made pornography films or ‘sex
tapes’ to be aired on television. These movies, instead, are broadcast on internet adult channels,
generally for free and sometimes against the owner’s consent. Celebrity homemade videos, such
as ‘One Night in Paris’, starring the heiress to the Hilton fortune, tend to cause somewhat of a
storm on said adult channels. In some cases, like Paris’, the videos can seriously enhance the
‘actor’s’ celebrity status.
There is an actually channel called ‘The Adult Channel’; a pay per view pornographic channel
available in the UK on cable and satellite, which was launched on 30th June 1999. Other channels
available on UK satellite and cable include ‘Babestation’, ‘Playboy One’ and ‘Gay TV’. The latter is
broadcast over the Sky Digital platform from 8pm until 5.30am and was added to Virgin Media
Channel 485 on 22nd April 2008. As the name suggests, the adult channel caters for a gay male
audience. Until 2007 it was the only gay television channel on Sky TV. Interestingly, adult channels
rarely aim their content at females, with adult males their sole target audience.
The channels tend to lie towards to higher end of the channel numbering; on Sky they are last only
to the radio channels. Virgin Media, however, place the adult channels just after the Movie
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