Logo TV (often shorted to Logo Stylized as Logo.) is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Viacom Media Networks. Launched in 2005, it was originally aimed primarily at LGBT viewers, but in 2012 it shifted its focus towards general cultural and lifestyle programming.
As of January 2016, approximately 50 million households receive Logo.
The channel launched June 30, 2005 as the first advertiser-supported commercial television channel in the United States geared towards the LGBT community. It was founded by former MTV executive Matt Farber. Its first president, Brian Graden, was named by Out Magazine as the 15th most powerful gay person in America in 2007. Logo replaced VH1 MegaHits when it was launched.
The fact that the LGBT-themed channel was named "Logo" led some viewers to think the "l" and the "g" referenced "lesbian" and "gay", but according to company executives, the name does not represent anything, nor is it an acronym. The channel's website says:
We chose the name "Logo TV" because a logo is an identity and nothing's more important than having your own, unique identity, and making it work for you. Your logo is your symbol, it's what you put forward with pride, it's who you are, and it's what we are.
Logo struck carriage deals prior to its launch date with DirecTV, Charter Communications, Adelphia Communications Corporation, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and RCN Corporation. The broadcaster reached a deal with Comcast after the launch date. Logo has partnered with CBS News to provide news briefs and has developed a relationship with LPI Media, publisher of The Advocate, Out and Out Traveler magazines. MTV Networks and Time Warner Cable announced an agreement December 11, 2006, to expand its distribution of Logo to additional markets. Logo became available on Dish Network in May 2009 (in HD only) as part of an add-on package.
Logo's programming was initially a blend of movies with gay themes, reality television, travel programming, dating/romance shows, documentaries, music videos, stand-up comedy, news, and syndicated programs with gay characters or gay interest/fanbases. According to its website, "We're kind of big on fierce stuff, and that can mean a lot of things. Fiercely original programming to us means that in a perfect world everyone would be this interesting." Some content originated from other Viacom properties including Comedy Central, MTV and VH1. In April 2011, Logo acquired the rights to air the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous and co-produced the show's three revival specials during 2011 and 2012 with the BBC and BBC America.
Logo announced February 21, 2012, that it would shift its programming strategy. Citing research that indicated that LGBT people were becoming increasingly less likely to prioritize highlighting their sexual orientation or identity, the channel entered into partnerships to produce programs that focused less on LGBT-specific interests and more on general cultural and lifestyle subjects. This has prompted outrage from the channel's LGBT viewership, who responded by comparing the channel's new programming focus to that of the NBCUniversal-owned Bravo.
In 2016, Logo became the first American television network to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest live to the United States. They broadcast it again in 2017, and in 2018, the two semi finals are going to be broadcast as well as the final.
On March 1, 2017, Viacom announced that future seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race will move to VH1 as part of the company's "flagship six" network strategy (though VH1 is not a highlight network of that strategy, it has much broader distribution); Logo will continue to air reruns of the series, however. As of 2017, Finding Prince Charming and the docuseries Fire Island are Logo's only remaining original programs.
Logo publishes a collection of websites, all of which it describes as being a part of LOGOonline, the umbrella name for these sites. In mid-2009, Logo moved its flagship site (LOGOonline.com) to the LOGOtv.com domain name.
In September 2006, Logo launched a video on demand service featuring select programming content; it is available on cable providers Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and on Verizon FiOS. Logo programming has been available on the Roost service since its official launch.
Logo offered several audio and video podcasts through the podcast section of the iTunes Store. At launch, the offering included audio and video podcasts for CBS News on Logo, Jason Bellini's Here & Now, Talking to Manatees, She Said What? and Wisecrack. On July 28, 2007, Logo launched a new audio podcast titled Oh God I'm Gay, which addresses spiritual issues for LGBT people. As of January 2011, archives of some of Logo's podcasts remain on iTunes, but none have been updated since 2009.