Television

AOL to launch an action sports network

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MUMBAI: US internet service provider AOL and Fusion Entertainment have announced a joint venture Lat34.com. This is an interactive network dedicated to action sports, including skate, BMX, FMX, surfing, snowboarding etc.

The two parties state that this surging category already claims upwards of 100 million US fans. The new network will emphasise both programmed and user-generated content, including action sports video on-demand, event coverage, action sports athletes up close and in-depth coverage of all aspects of the action sports culture.

Lat34.com - named for the company's location in Los Angeles which is considered to be the unofficial home of action sports in the US– is dedicated to bringing action sports information to the Web. Capitalising on AOL's position in online video, Lat34.com promises timely video coverage of action sports wherever they occur. In addition, Lat34.com will offer fans the chance to contribute by uploading their video, photos, blogs and more.

Key features of Lat34.com will include:

— Action sports event coverage and calendar, up-to-the-minute action sports news, action sports video on-demand, athlete profiles, action sports movie previews, gear information and connecting fans of specific sports together via AIM social network platform, blogs, meet-up groups and provide tools for uploading video and photos.

— Video and photo highlights of action sports culture, including fashion, music, movies, local events and links to some of these popular sites.

— An in-depth action sports database with vertical search capability to access athletes' past stats and current records, events, gear, tricks, movies, sites, etc. built by users.

— Original programming such as athlete Blogs and profiles, photo galleries and video programming.

— On-demand footage of various action sports events around the country.

— 'Trick of the Day': Here users can upload their own video of action stunts and features and enter to win a weekly prize.

The Jeep brand has signed on as the charter advertiser and is currently running teaser ads for the all-new 2007 Jeep Compass which will be in dealerships later this summer. Jeep Compass is a compact Jeep 4X4 that delivers fun, freedom, utility and capability and more - all at a great value – making it an ideal advertiser for the action sports enthusiast.

Jeep will also be showcasing video ads on the site to highlight new models shortly. Lat34.com will allow advertisers to tap into the strength of the surging action sports category and action sports fans, in turn, will benefit from targeted and relevant ads that address their needs and interests. The network will offer instream advertising opportunities, including pre-roll, ad curtains and banners.

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