Wired for Current

BSkyB plans local version of Gore net

Al Gore’s Current TV has inked its first deal outside the U.S. — it will launch a local version on Rupert Murdoch’s Blighty satcaster BSkyB.

Keen to ride the boom in user-generated content evident in the success of Web sites like MySpace and YouTube, BSkyB chief exec James Murdoch hailed the development as “the first step towards Sky’s own moves in this fascinating field.”

“Current TV is bringing the Web’s sense of empowerment to television for the first time,” he said. “It has a uniquely collaborative approach to working with viewer producers that stands out among other platforms for user-generated video.”

The channel designed for the U.K. and Irish markets will enable auds to submit their own short video clips for broadcast. Material could also play on Current’s U.S. service.

“This is a big step in fulfilling Current’s mission of sparking a global conversation among young adults,” Gore said.

In the U.K., channels like Flextech-owned Trouble and Viacom’s MTV have already launched user-generated services, while Channel 4 operates two Web-based channels — 4Docs and 4Laughs — that rely on fare of this kind.

Current bowed in the U.S. in August 2005; some 30% of its material is created by viewers.

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