Television

Extreme Sports Channel commisions new sports content series

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MUMBAI: US based Liberty Global owned Extreme Sports Channel has commissioned two new series for Summer 2006. The Fifa endorsed Euro Beach Soccer League as well as Streetball Extreme: Battle for Europe are being added to Extreme's schedule as it attempts to grow its portfolio of new and innovative sports content.

The two new series will go to air on Extreme's 5 international feeds of the channel from September.

Radio 1 and 5Live presenter DJ Spoony and sports commentator Natalie Pinkham will be co-hosting the Euro Beach Soccer League in a new six part series.

According to an official release, the series will see sixteen national teams compete in matches held in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Greece, the Netherlands and Poland. UK production company Gun for Hire have been appointed to produce the series for Extreme.
The French team, winners of the first Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in 2005, will be led by French national star and Manchester United legend, Eric Cantona.

Extreme's head of programming James Dubern said, "Beach soccer combines the most spectacular aspects of football with awesome locations including a beach in the heart of the Alps! The sport has a huge international following and we're looking forward to giving it the 'Extreme treatment'."

Extreme is also adding the urban sport Streetball to its roster this summer. The channel has commissioned an 8 x 1 hour series titled Streetball Extreme: Battle for Europe following the UK-based SBX team on a 12 day tour through Europe.

UK indie Chrome Productions will be capturing all the action as seven British players take on the best Streetball teams in Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Lyon, Barcelona, Lisbon and Paris.

Beach soccer is one of the fastest growing professional sports in the world and has so far been televised in over 170 countries. The sport was inspired by the football played on the beaches of Brazil and the official rules were created in 1992. Teams consist of up to 10 players and five players are on the sand at any one time. Playing on an uneven surface means that the game is largely improvised, with the ball spending most of the time in the air.

Streetball has its roots in basketball but with a greater emphasis on style and flair. The sport relies heavily on one-on-one match-ups between attacker and defender with players always looking to find the most innovative, rather than the most direct, ways to score.

The SBX team has been carefully selected by Tom 'Con Man' Connors, a UK-based Streetball pioneer. As well as taking on all-star local teams in each city, the events will feature freestyle demos, live DJs and MC battles in prime European locations including a custom built Streetball court on the beach outside Lisbon.

The channel had recently provided live coverage of the videogaming competition, The Xbox Cup 2006, and plans to add more videogaming content to its schedule this year, informs the release.

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