BSkyB launches user-generated channel with Al Gore

BSkyB has teamed up with former American presidential candidate Al Gore to unveil a British version of his Current TV, a channel showing user-generated programmes.

The partnership was announced today (Friday) by Current chairman Gore and Sky chief executive James Murdoch. It marks Current’s first non-US operation and gives Sky a presence in the fast-growing field of user-generated content.

Current TV is the first TV network created by and for a young adult audience. It reaches nearly 30 million homes in the United States and will reach another 8.2 million Sky households when it launches in the next few months.

Viewers from the UK and Ireland will be able to submit their video segments to a website to be considered for broadcast.

The videos last from a few seconds to 15 minutes and cover the environment, fashion, technology or products. They make up about 30% of the schedule for Current TV in the US, while the remainder is current affairs content produced by the channel.

Gore, who narrowly lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, launched the channel in August 2005 with business partner Joel Hyatt.

User-generated content is growing rapidly over the internet, with YouTube alone streaming more than 100 million video clips a day, and Google and others expanding their own services. MTV’s broadband offering Flux launched earlier this summer, allowing users to upload content.

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