A new gay entertainment channel is planning to launch towards the end of next year, Broadcast reports this week.

'The Queer Channel' - brainchild of ex-ITN creative director Colin Fallesen - intends to launch as a free-to-air station by October 27, 2006. Fallesen is already "in discussions" with Sky and VOD operator HomeChoice over carriage on their respective services.

Content will comprise roughly 60% acquisitions, mostly from US gay channels Q Television and Here TV. Movies sourced from gay and lesbian film festivals will also feature, while planned original content includes Positive Living, a show for people with HIV, and Culture Vulture, a series profiling gay artists.

Fallesen told the mag that he had assembled Ł12 million of the Ł20 million The Queer Channel needs to launch, adding that Q Television had "expressed interest" in taking a 50% stake in the venture.

The news comes just two months after a proposed gay channel called Faze TV scrapped its launch plans after failing to secure a carriage agreement with Sky.