Al Gore's TV Network Seeks $100m IPO

30 January 2008

SAN FRANCISCO: The world's highest profile eco-campaigner, Nobel prize winner and former US vp Al Gore (pictured), has signalled his intention to raise around $100 million (€67m; £50.2m) in an initial public offering of his cable television TV, Current Media.

The company, which chairman Gore set up with co-founder and ceo Joel Hyatt in 2002, expects to use the cash to pay off debts and finance expansion and acquisitions. It hopes to offer the shares on the US Nasdaq in the spring.

Current TV, which debuted in 2005, relies heavily on viewer-generated video for its news, cultural and travel productions, aimed at an audience of young adults and teenagers across the globe. It mixes this with professionally produced programmes.

The channel, which has an associated website,  is now beamed into over 51 million homes worldwide and, according to a statement, intends to "to become the pre-eminent global media source for young adults across major communications platforms".

Current, which has yet to turn a profit, makes its money from contracts with cable companies, who pay monthly fees based on the number of households the channel reaches.

Around 16% of its revenues come from advertising, but the company hopes this proportion will greatly increase in future.

However, viewing figures at present are so low that they cannot be tracked by Nielsen and might be a less attractive prospect for bigger advertisers.

Data sourced from San Francisco Chronicle; additional content by WARC staff