Today, South Florida. Tomorrow, the world! Happening Out Television Network (HOTN) is about to be a lot easier to access.
The South Florida-based operation has reached a deal with Roku, Apple TV+, and Google+ to promote HOTN’s content on their services. Al Ferguson, who hosts Queer News Tonight (8 p.m. Monday-Thursday) and It’s Happening Out (9 p.m. Wednesdays), said this is a first of its kind.
“To my knowledge, there is no dedicated channel to LGBTQ live information and news,” said Ferguson.
While all HOTN programming is available on several platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, Ferguson said being able to watch on TV will make it much easier for viewers to access.
“Anytime you go to search in Roku and you search anything about gay, lesbian, Stonewall, programming will come up in search and HOTN content will come up in the channel.”
The announcement was made at Sunshine Cathedral, home of HOTN studios. The news came during a party celebrating HOTN’s third anniversary, and the 36th anniversary of Hotspots Magazine. (Hotspots is the parent company of HOTN.)
In addition to Queer News Tonight and It’s Happening Out, HOTN programming also includes the Kitty Meow Show and TRANSlation, the world’s first talk show for the trans community. They also broadcast local events including pride parades and benefits. And starting next year, the Fay What?! show moves to HOTN.
“We need a network like this that represents us,” Fay said. “It’s the parades, it’s the events. It’s everything to do with LGBTQ that we go to and are at. I’m a lucky lesbian, this is the best Christmas present ever.”
“Our channel is designed to be broad in terms of dedicated by the LGBTQ community for the LGBTQ community,” Ferguson said.
Darren Loli is HOTN’s executive producer and CEO, and said the shows already reach rural communities and are seen by people who are taught that LGBTQ+ is negative. The new exposure will change even more lives.
“To see it on television in such a real and raw way has been fantastic. That to me is where we are going. To hear stories and uplift the community.”