Current TV comes north with CBC

Bold move by Stursberg will see new website and digichannel air Canuck-generated content

Making a bold grab for the Internet generation, the CBC is bringing former U.S. vice-president Al Gore’s interactive Current TV channel to Canada.

Current Canada, a collaboration between Gore’s Current Media and the CBC, will operate as a website and a Category 2 digital channel, Current TV, now under application to the CRTC.

As with the current U.S., British and Italian versions of Current TV, the Canadian reboot/remake of Gore’s multi-platform channel will see one-third of the content generated by tech-savvy Canadians.

‘Current is at the forefront of the global media revolution and Current Canada is our next step forward,’ Current chairman and Oscar-winning moviemaker Gore added in a statement.

Interactive footage by ordinary Canadians will be submitted to a website and then edited and packaged by Current Canada professionals.

The Canadian channel’s premium TV channel and web programming will also be offered via short and snappy current affairs ‘pods’ that range from news items to next-generation documentaries.

Richard Stursberg, EVP of CBC English services, pitched Current Canada as a means to save TV in a digital age increasingly typified by YouTube and Second Life, where viewers and listeners create and share content.

‘Current Canada will have the potential to dramatically alter the way Canadians interact with both television and online programming,’ he argued.

‘We intend to fundamentally redefine some basic elements of how programs are created and evaluated. This includes the interesting notion of who gets to create programming,’ he added.

The Current Canada deal was hammered out by Stursberg and Current TV co-founder Joel Hyatt.

It also represents the latest multi-platform channel to launch into the Canadian market after earlier forays by GlassBOX Television and hybrid programming from the National Film Board.

From Playback Daily