Current TV and Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) today announced a distribution agreement that will increase distribution of the network on Comcast's digital cable service in nearly all of its systems across the country by June 1. The agreement expands the availability of Current from about 500,000 Comcast customers to approximately 8 million customers in the cable operator's digital cable service area. It also expands the network's overall distribution from 20 million to 28 million U.S. households.
Commenting on the agreement, Current TV chairman Al Gore stated, "Less than eight months ago we launched a new network that sought to do something extraordinary - to involve young adults in helping create the television they want to watch. With the additional distribution of Current on Comcast's digital cable lineup, we look forward to continuing to empower young adults to share the stories they are passionate about, but now to a much larger audience."
Matt Bond, executive vice president of content acquisition for Comcast, stated, "Current has a dedicated and growing audience, and we are pleased to make it available to more of our digital cable customers. The network's unique, innovative focus is particularly relevant to younger viewers and is another example of how we are bringing our customers the programming they want to watch."
Current launched on August 1, 2005 and in its few months on air has already been awarded its first batch of Telly and Hugo awards for its groundbreaking programming. The network showcases short-form, nonfiction segments called "pods," which cover subjects such as music, relationships, spirituality, politics, finance, parenting, the environment and other topics important to young adults. Current also enlists its viewers to become creative partners, allowing the audience to submit viewer created content, or VC2, making it the first television network whose programming is supplied in part by the very audience who watches it. The amount of VC2 submissions comprises roughly one-third of the network's on-air broadcast, featuring stories ranging from citizen rescues in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to the bike scene in Philadelphia, to hip-hop artists serving as soldiers in Iraq. Current's Online Studio at www.current.tv provides an easy way for viewers to create and upload video, and an online screening room where they can watch and vote on the pieces they want to see on TV. The Online Studio also offers a free training program for aspiring video producers.
In addition to VC2, the network's "Google Current" segment grounds the top and bottom of the hour with stories based on what millions of people are searching for via the Google search engine. The network's Vanguard Journalism department covers edgy and compelling news stories that won't be found on other networks, such as investigations into avian flu, illegal immigration and orphaned street children in the Kibera Slums in Africa.
"We're proud that in the short time we've been on the air, we have been able to obtain nationwide carriage with Comcast. This agreement with the cable industry leader reaffirms the strength of Current TV's compelling content as a must have' programming offering," stated Current CEO Joel Hyatt.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.4 million cable customers, 8.5 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.3 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content. The company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
Current TV, which launched August 1, 2005, is the first national network created by, for and with an 18-34 year-old audience. The network shows young adults what's going on in their world, in their voice. Current is also the first network in history whose programming is supplied in part by the very audience who watches it. For more information, please visit the website: www.current.tv.