Erotic Television Comes to Siberia

KRASNOYARSK, Siberia – Those cold Russian nights are about to heat up with the launch of Siberia's first erotic cable television channel, Maxim TV.

While controversial because the channel is promoted as "erotic television," the bulk of Maxim TV's programming will actually consist of music and fashion shows, with pornographic films possibly being broadcast only from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

According to Irina Nikitenko, head of television projects for Maxim TV's parent company Unitmedia, "Maybe we will show hardcore late at night but it is only under discussion," and even then, Maxim TV will only broadcast material approved by the Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency.

Adult content for Maxim TV will be provided by SP Co., owned by well-known Russian porn producer Sergei Pryanishnikov.

Pryanishnikov who staged an run for governor of St. Petersburg last year but exited the race before the election, is best known for his erotic films, which reportedly sell at a rate of 100,000 videos a month.

Pryanishnikov compares himself and his struggle for free expression to that of his American counterpart Larry Flynt.

"We want to legalize this business and bring it to life," said Pryanishnikov. "All my life I have been fighting these bureaucrats, ever since Soviet days when I used to promote rock music even though it was banned."