BSkyB is to launch a UK version of Al Gore's US viewer-created TV channel, Current. Former US vice president Gore signed an agreement with Sky CEO James Murdoch which will see Current secure its first presence outside America, a key step in its strategy to build an international media brand.
Current launched last summer, pioneering the use of user-generated content for a TV network. Under the agreement with Sky, Current will tailor its content for viewers in the UK and Ireland within a channel carried on Sky's digital satellite platform.
Viewers will be able to submit their video segments via Current's web site and if selected for broadcast they will be shown here and in the US. Aimed at young adult viewers, Current offers short-form factual programming in sequences known as "pods". Each pod explores issues such as technology, fashion, music and videogames, the environment, relationships, spirituality, politics, finance, and parenting. Around 30% of Current's US content is created by viewers.
Gore said: "We are grateful to be working with BSkyB in our first international venture. This is a big step in fulfilling Current's mission of sparking a global conversation among young adults.
"Bringing our viewer created content model to the UK and Ireland will give millions of young viewers the opportunity to not only watch, but also to create, television programming that is relevant to them. We're excited about being able to unleash the creativity of young people in the UK and Ireland, enabling them to share their stories with their generational cohort here and around the world."
Murdoch said: "Current TV is bringing the web's sense of empowerment to television for the first time. It has a uniquely collaborative approach to working with viewer producers that stands out among other platforms for user-generated video. As a first step towards Sky's own moves in this fascinating field, we're pleased to help give a voice to millions of young people throughout the UK and Ireland."
Lovelace Consulting | 06.10.2006