February 2, 2005

After all those years of fucking investors in the ass, a little anal sex no longer seemed so bad


Jake forwards this amusing L.A. Times article.

Adelphia Communications Corp. has quietly become the nation's only leading cable operator to offer the most explicit category of hard-core porn.... The move is a radical departure for Adelphia... 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....

[The newly available] Triple-X-rated movies feature anal sex and visible ejaculation.

And just in case you're wondering, yes, the article does throw in that thoroughly debunked claim that porn is "a $10 billion industry." Here's the money shot:

"It's scary how much money is made on porn," said Tim Connelly, editor and publisher of Adult Video News, an industry trade magazine that estimates that when strip clubs, magazines, the Internet, TV and DVDs are included, porn is a $10-billion industry. "That's more than Hollywood makes at the box office. And it just grows and grows and grows. It's mainstream now."

I've weighed in before on the perpetual (and perpetually dubious) mainstreaming of porn. AVN has been tossing around that $10B figure for years, as Forbes shows. The only difference this time is that they're now throwing in strip clubs to shore up the claim. I have my doubts, but even if it's true, there's some shameless sleight-of-hand in comparing every possible revenue stream for porn to Hollywood's domestic box office, when Hollywood films also make a huge chunk of change on foreign sales, DVDs, merchandising, etc.

[Update: 60 Minutes this week offers a lame double-qualifier. "It's a business believed to be worth as much as $10 billion a year." But when "believed to be" means "probably isn't" and "as much as" means "considerably less then," why not use a different figure -- or none at all if you don't have one?]

[In a related observation, an otherwise excellent article on the subject of Hollywood finances in this week's New Yorker tosses in the claim that "the television audience for the Academy Awards ceremony is said to be a billion people." Absolutely true: the audience is often SAID to be a billion people. However, it's also, NOT a billion people. It can't be. My hunch is that this figure originally described the show's potential audience, if everybody who could tune in around the world did. But that's not very sexy is it?

Finally, the LAT article notes that one goal of the new triple-x service is "to increase the seven-minute viewing time historically clocked by the average person who orders an adult pay-per-view movie."

I know! Who gets to seven minutes?

Posted by Daniel Radosh


What? Porn on demand? Where can I sign up?

Why would you want to increase viewing time? Aren't profits higher if someone pays the full price for the first seven minutes?

Seven minutes? Well, yeah, maybe if room service interrupts in the middle or something.

I've seen the $10B claim. But I ain't seen none of this "thoroughly debunked" action! Please! somebody tell me where I can find it! Nothing turns me on like seeing conventional wisdom get it every which way.

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