U.K. Travelodge Chain Removes Adult Pay-Per-View

THAME, England — English budget-hotel chain Travelodge has removed adult pay-per-view from its 318 hotels in the U.K., Ireland and Spain.

Like a recent ban on smoking, the removal of adult PPV is intended to increase Travelodge's appeal to families. Travelodge reports that the number of families and children staying in its hotels has doubled since 2003, and family vacations now account for 70 percent of Travelodge's sales.

The European Travelodge chain is not affiliated with Travelodge in North America.

Hotel guests in the U.K. spend hundreds of millions of pounds every year on adult PPV.

"They take cable-version programming for the traditional cable-to-home satellite-delivered channels, and in the lodging systems they use more provocative programming, up to the triple-X level. Plot-driven and all-sex, both hard-and softcore versions go into the U.K.," Cable Entertainment Distribution Inc. President Marc Bruder told XBIZ. "It's such a small globe that everything that happens impacts us in the U.S. Ultimately the copyright holder isn't going to get paid, whether he deals direct or works through a distributing company. Some of the companies we deal with have a U.K. presence. I think it'll impact us, but not greatly."

Travelodge's removal of adult PPV is accompanied by a $20 million upgrade to new flat-screen digital TVs throughout the chain, with 18 free "family-friendly" channels offered, including BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, BBC News 24, and Film Four.

"We have an ever-increasing number of families staying with us and it's appropriate that we remove adult TV," Travelodge Chief Operating Officer Guy Parsons said. "Our other customers tell us that they would prefer to use a hotel without adult content available so we have responded to meet their needs. We talk to our customers about all of these issues and often take the lead in delivering what they ask for."