Posted by Sadie from ? (188.8.131.52) on Friday, January 24, 2003 at 3:57PM :
Stuff on the corporations that make tons of money from the sales of pornographic materials. I compiled stuff from articles I found on the internet... This was inspired by a program I watched last night on ABC's Primetime about the throw-away people who work as actors & actressess in the industry, often contracting many STDs & forced into sexual compromises (often not much unlike a rape) for the money they are promised, not to mention a lifetime of social repercussions.
Incidentally, I wonder if Mr. Asher is Assyrian?
"Impulse technology — that's been just incredible," said Mr. Asher of Vivid Entertainment, which claims that it sells a million copies a month to cable, satellite, home video and hotel retailers. At the same time that technology such as the VCR was making it easier for people to view pornography, legal obstacles were falling. The 1973 Supreme Court case Miller v. California established a threshold for defining illegal pornography; a major test was that it had to be considered obscene to the "average person, applying contemporary community standards." Now, with impulse technology, "You have about 35 million homes with this kind of technology now," Mr. Asher said, "and it's growing enormously. It's easy and it's private — that's the key." Although the companies that program explicit sex films will not give out their revenue figures for this category, a report by the Showtime Event Television company found that adult pay-per-view took in $367 million in 1999 — a more than sixfold increase from the $54 million of 1993, easily outpacing the growth of pay-per-view "events" like boxing and wrestling. "Revenue-wise, [this material] is one of our biggest moneymakers," says Peggy Simons of TCI Cable.
Telephone sex, considered simply one form of audio text by executives in the trade, became a huge business in the 1980’s despite new government regulations against it (phone sex calls have been banned by the FCC). One quarter of a million Americans a day use the phone for commercial sex.
On the Internet, sex is one of the few things that prompts large numbers of people to disclose their credit card numbers. According to two Web ratings services, about one in four regular Internet users, or 21 million Americans, visits one of the more than 60,000 sex sites on the Web at least once a month — more people than go to sports or government sites.
At home, Americans buy or rent more than $4 billion a year worth of graphic sex videos from retail outlets and spend an additional $800 million on less explicit sexual films — all told, about 32 percent of the business for general-interest video retailers that carry adult topics, according to compilations done by two trade organizations that track video rentals.
Cable and satellite companies channel pornography into millions of homes and take approximately 80 percent of the pay-per-view dollar that gets spent by the consumer, according to Bill Asher, president of Vivid Entertainment, which produces adult movies.
For hotels, the sex that can be piped through television generates far more money than the beer, wine and snacks sold from the rooms' mini-bars. "The 5 percent or 10 percent of revenue that the hotel chain gets, that's pure profit to them because they have no cost," says Dennis McAlpine, an entertainment industry analyst. "They didn't put in the wiring system, they didn't supply the programming." Just under 1.5 million hotel rooms, or about 40 percent of all hotel rooms in the nation, are equipped with television boxes that sell the kind of films that used to be seen mostly in adults-only theaters, according to the two leading companies in the business. Based on estimates provided by the hotel industry, at least half of all guests buy these adult movies, which means that pay-per-view sex from television hotel rooms may generate about $190 million a year in sales. Only one hotel chain, the relatively small Omni Hotels, has chosen to remove the sex films. "What we noticed was that early on, the content was R-rated, but then it migrated rather quickly to really raunchy stuff — just hard-core porn," said Jim Caldwell, the president of Omni. "I thought: What are we doing? We don't have topless waitresses in the restaurant." For guests buying the sex films, "The anonymity is the big thing," he said.
To the astonishment of Larry Flynt, owner of the Hustler Empire who began in the pornography business by selling poor-quality pictures of naked girls as a way to build interest in his strip clubs, his competitors in the $10 billion annual adult market are mainstream corporations whose board members are among the American business elite.
"Fortune 500" & other big corporations that make billions off porn industry:
1. AT&T - A US News & World Report dated February 1997 talks about the billions of dollars made by AT&T from the promotion of pornography. AT&T Corporation, the nation's biggest communications company, also offers a hard-core sex channel called the Hot Network to subscribers to its broadband cable service. It also owns a company that sells sex videos to nearly a million hotel rooms. Nearly one in five of AT&T's broadband cable customers pays an average of $10 a film to see what the distributor calls "real, live all-American sex — not simulated by actors." TCI Cable, another cable network that makes pornographic films available for purchase, is owned by AT&T. TCI was once controlled by John C. Malone, the cable and telecommunications magnate who sits on the board of AT&T and recently agreed to buy up to 15 percent of the shares of Mr. Murdoch's News Corporation. In Demand, the nation's leading pay-per-view distributor, is owned in part by AT&T, Time Warner, Advance-Newhouse, Cox Communications and Comcast.
2. MCI/WorldCom - one of the leading internet providers of sex on-line. The top twenty adult sites are parked on Net Block, owned by MCI/WorldCom.
3. Sprint - carries 900 sex lines and has benefited from the millions addicted to phone sex.
4. America On-Line (AOL) - For years AOL has provided a gateway for pornographic ads & spam to reach its customers.
5. Amazon.com - markets pornographic material. Pornography is a HUGE profit generator.
6. Tower Records - Chains like Tower Records now stock nearly 500 titles in their so-called erotic category, far more than films about history or dinosaurs.
7. Time Warner - Time Warner is a top producer of porn videos. In Demand, the nation's leading pay-per-view distributor, is owned in part by AT&T, Time Warner, Advance-Newhouse, Cox Communications and Comcast.
8. General Motors - General Motors now sells more pornographic sex films every year than does Larry Flynt. The 8.7 million Americans who subscribe to Direct TV, a GM subsidiary, buy nearly $200 million a year in pay-per-view sex films from satellite, according to estimates provided by distributors of the films, estimates the company does not dispute.
9. EchoStar Communications Corporation, the No. 2 satellite provider, whose chief financial backers include Mr. Murdoch, makes more money selling graphic adult films through its satellite subsidiary than Playboy, the oldest and best-known company in the sex business, does with its magazine, cable and Internet businesses combined, according to public and private revenue accounts by the companies.
10. HBO - one of many cable stations that airs many movies with explicit sex and hardcore pornography programs. This is said to be due to customer demand (increasing due to various internet, TV, radio, & magazine marketing strategies).
11. On Command and LodgeNet - The two companies that provide hotels with pornographic films are both traded on Wall Street and have enjoyed big run-ups in their stock prices over the last few years. The leader, On Command, based in Denver, is worth more than $400 million, and its principal owner is Liberty Media, controlled by John Malone. On Command would not discuss how much money it is making on adult films. But in its annual report, the company said it was generating $23 a room each month for the 835,000 hotel rooms it reaches. The company goal is to get into an additional one million hotel rooms. Analysts say at least half the revenue comes from adult films. The company recently began offering all-day erotic television to hotel customers, for a single price of $15.99.
12. Marriott, Westin, and Hilton - These major hotel chains all offer in-room X-rated movies delivered to the hotel by one of two major distribution companies.
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