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Cable TV Offers More Home Shopping - the X-Rated Version

May 24, 1994

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Looking for that perfect negligee for her? Satin underpants for him? Massage oil for both of you? Cable television’s next generation of home shopping is looking for you.

The fledgling Adam & Eve Channel and Cupid Network Television are using cable’s customary telemarketing style to sell sexy garments, books, videos, unguents, oils, games and toys. And very discreetly, of course.

″We are very much in the mainstream,″ said Offer Assis, president of the Cupid network, who was drumming up business at the 43rd annual National Cable Television Association in New Orleans.

Cupid’s format is like any home shopping channel. At the left of the TV screen is the item’s ordering number, description (″Teddette, lace with Venice edge and garters, Black, Red, White, S, M, L″) and price. Underneath, are the 800 telephone number and credit card options.

Of course, there’s a live model or two, in the studio, demonstrating how the goods look in the flesh.

″It’s aiming at the married couple, those people who after five, 10 years of marriage are losing the spark,″ Assis said. ″We think sex is nice, and the better you have sex at home, the more chance there is to keep your marriage alive.″

Between 15-minute commercial blocks, Cupid has two-minute ″erotic vignettes″ of attractive people engaged in grown-up behavior, but nothing hard-core. Bare bosoms and bottoms are as explicit as Cupid gets.

″We are more conservative than Playboy,″ Offer said. ″We’d rather be introduced as a ‘love and romance’ channel.″

Cupid is talking with five major cable systems and expects about 3 million subscribers to start. By March, ″we’ll be happy with 5 or 6 million,″ Offer said.

Adam & Eve Channel, which began Feb. 1 and has 1.9 million cable subscribers, takes a different tack. It puts 15 minutes of sexy merchandising between 75-minute adult films with the hard-core elements edited out.

The advertising has high-gloss production values and looks more like music video than home shopping.

″The first day we were up we got a thousand subscribers on the satellite dish,″ said Bernie Oakley, vice president of Adam & Eve. ″We know we’re going to make it.″

Adam & Eve uses adult film stars as its models and presenters, and plans live programming along the lines of its ″Pajama Party Live″ special, which featured a dozen starlets with telephones in varying states of undress.

″Guys would call in and talk to the girls on the air,″ Oakley said.

They’d suggest activities for the performers, who acted out the suggestions. ″Now THAT’S interactive television,″ he said.

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