Max Renn is the president of CIVIC-TV, a Toronto UHF television station specializing in sensationalist programming. Harlan, the operator of CIVIC-TV's unauthorized satellite dish, shows Max Videodrome, a plotless show apparently being broadcast from Malaysia which depicts anonymous victims being violently tortured and eventually murdered. Believing this to be the future of television, Max orders Harlan to begin unlicensed use of the show. Nicki Brand, a sadomasochistic radio host who becomes sexually involved with Max, is aroused by an episode of Videodrome, and goes to audition for the show when she learns that it is being broadcast out of Pittsburgh, but never returns. Max contacts Masha, a softcore pornographer, and asks her to help him find out the truth about Videodrome. Through Masha, Max learns that not only is the footage not faked, but it is the public "face" of a political movement. Masha further informs him that the enigmatic media theorist Brian O'Blivion knows about Videodrome.