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Marriott Hotels to Phase Out In-Room TV Porn

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By Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter
January 24, 2011|5:53 pm

Marriott International plans to remove X-rated adult entertainment from its in-room pay-per-view entertainment, the hotel giant announced.

The company said it is equipping new hotel rooms with an Internet-based video-on-demand system that do not give access to pornography. It also said the decision was based on data showing that hotel pay-per-view programs that include pornography on its menu are no longer popular among patrons.

“Changing technology and how guests access entertainment has reduced the revenue hotels and their owners derive from in-room movies, including adult content,” stated Marriott to “Hotel Check-In” of USA Today Travel.

“As we transition to this new platform, adult content will be off the menu for virtually all of our newly built hotels. Over the next few years, this will be the policy across our system."

According to Colliers PKF Hospitality Research, hotels currently collect an estimated 39 percent fewer dollars from all pay-per-view movie rentals than they did a decade ago. The average hotel collects about $175 per available room per year, down from $288 in 2000, said Robert Mandelbaum, the firm's research director. He estimates that industry wide, movie rental revenue in 2009 was roughly $380 million.

A Jan. 21 USA Today traveler poll further confirmed the decreasing popularity of pay-per-view movies in hotel rooms. The poll shows that 81 percent of the 2,357 respondents do not order hotel pay-per-view movies. Instead, over 66 percent said they watched free television programming and another 15 percent said they bring their own DVDs or watch movies online on their laptop or digital devices.

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 “This new platform of Internet-based video-on-demand will facilitate our exit from the traditional hotel video systems that included adult content in the menu selection, and will also provide guests greater choice and control over what they watch,” said Marriott in the statement.

Conservatives praised Marriott’s decision, with groups such as Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values noting that the hotel chain lost money from people who refused to do business with them for carrying pornography.

In 2009, CCV sponsored radio ads, a full-page newspaper ad and billboards to expose LodgeNet as the nation’s largest hard-core pornography provider to hotels. The grassroots organization that promotes Judeo-Christian moral values also reported having met with Marriott to “strongly object to their pornography sales.”

Marriott was among LodgeNet’s three largest customers along with Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group.

In a statement to Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, CCV President Phil Burress stated, “There’s no question that Marriott was feeling the heat and may have lost probably tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue from people who refuse to business with them.”

Burress praised the Maryland-based chain for its decision and encouraged other hotels to follow suit.

So far, there is no word on whether Hilton or InterContinental will announce plans to discontinue offering LodgeNet video options in its guestrooms.

Omni Hotels stopped offering in-room porn since 1999.

 

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