Naked News Plans South Korean Programming

TORONTO — While Naked News plans its inaugural Naked News Awards for later this month, the company is quietly gearing up to roll out a South Korean version of its program.

“This is pretty big,” Naked News founder David Warga told XBIZ. “It will be filmed out of Seoul, Korea, and will include Korean news and presenters.”

Naked News, which launched in 1999 and includes all-nude news, sports and entertainment, is available on the web and on mobile devices, as well as in North American via iNDEMAND, TVN, Bell ExpressVu. Daily programming on the web starts at $9.95 a month.

The company already has versions in Spain, Italy and Japan.

Naked News' initiative to provide programming with actual presenters in South Korea, however, could be vexing.

While South Korea is one of the world’s most-wired countries with widespread high-speed Internet access, the country has taken a stance over nudity and porn. Two years ago, South Korea blocked hundreds of foreign adult content sites and strengthened its obscenity laws.

Warda said that there most likely will be some hurdles with delivering news naked, but it should be well-received in South Korea.

"Like Japan they cannot show the pubic area, [but] appetite for all forms of adult entertainment is substantial," he said. "These are hardworking, hard-playing people."

As for its awards show, Naked News plans on broadcasting and webcasting it on Sunday, May 24.

The viewers-choice awards program, hosted by anchors Whitney St. John and Ariella Banks, will offer 10 categories, including Best Naked in the Streets, Best Location Shoot, Hottest Model and Best Interview, among others. Viewers can submit their votes at for the next three weeks.

Some of the categories include well-known personalities. Dr. Victoria Zdrok, who has written two books and was a Playboy centerfold as well as a Penthouse's Pet of the Year, is up for Sexiest Guest. Jackie the Jokeman, made famous as a Howard Stern sidekick, is a nominee for Best Interview.

Lucas Tyler, Naked News’ producer, said that choosing the best moments of 2008 was tough for his staff.

"It was extremely difficult selecting only three nominees in each of the 10 categories," Tyler said.