Current TV aims to let viewers create programmes

MUMBAI: It's as current as they come. Former US vice-president today launched Current TV, a 24 hour channel, under his Generation Investment Management umbrella in the US. He launched the channel in partnership with US Attorney Joel Hyatt.

At start up it has carriage on DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Comcast - a potential audience of 20 million homes. Its USP: its schedule will have content in the form of pods or clips created by lay consumers and contributed over the internet. The bite-sized video clips will be no more than seven to 10 minutes long and viewers will be able to vote for their favorite amateur video online. The topics which will be covered include: jobs, technology, spirituality and current events. An Internet-like on-screen progress bar will show the clip's length.

Gore has also tieup up with Google allowing itself to be updated each half-hour on topics that people are searching for on the web. The target audience: 18-34 year olds.

Gore told a US publication: "Until now, the notion of viewer participation has been limited to sending a tape to Americas Funniest Home Videos, calling an interview show, taking part in an instant poll, or voting someone off an island. Were creating a powerful new brand of television that doesnt treat audiences as merely viewers, but as collaborators.

He had earlier taken over a US network called the Newsworld International channel, and repackaged it as Current TV.

While there are some doubting Thomases about the success of the Current TV, considering that Video Blogs, Blogs offer the same service online, Gore says he is confident that the channel will work. For that to happen, Current TV will have to become the currency among audiences.

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