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Gore Unveils Cable Channel

The cable channel aims to attract young viewers with short videos and a tie-in with Google.

April 05, 2005|From Reuters

Former Vice President Al Gore on Monday unveiled his cable television network, Current, which aims to attract young viewers with short videos and a tie-in with search engine Google Inc.

The network plans to debut Aug. 1 and be available to 19 million subscription television viewers, Gore said at the cable industry's annual convention in San Francisco. Gore led an investment group that bought the network, formerly called Newsworld International, in May from Vivendi Universal for an undisclosed sum.

The channel will show professionally produced segments as well as viewer-produced videos mostly short in length.

"We are about empowering this generation of young people in their 20s, the 18-to-34 population, to engage in a dialogue of democracy and to tell their stories about what's going on in their lives in the dominant media of our time," he said.

Viewers will also be able to vote for their favorite videos and get tutorials via the Internet on how to produce their own segments, network officials said.

As part of the deal with Google, the search firm will provide twice-an-hour updates on viewers' most popular Web searches.

Google did not disclose the terms of the deal.

The network said its financial backers included Rob Glaser, chief executive of RealNetworks Inc.; Bob Pittman, who helped create the MTV networks; and Joel Hyatt, who is CEO of Current and built a network of legal services clinics. Gore will serve as Current's chairman.

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