Thursday, 14 January 2016

Al's Business Success

When Current TV (a cable news format network) got sold about three years ago.....Al Gore was one of the chief owners.  Al's chunk of money from the sale was around a hundred million dollars.

To be honest, there were two sides to Current TV at the time.  First, they did reach via packaging to 43 million homes (so says Bloomberg Business).  Whether through accidental business accomplishment or under the table deals with the cable networks.....it's a fair chunk of homes that had access to it.  On the negative side.....no one really was watching Reason TV in big numbers.

Current TV was designed and started back in 2005....with the idea of 15-minute blocks of special news capsules.  It modified itself slightly.....going political in nature....and becoming very progressive in nature.  They won several awards in the early years, although if you ask what for.....you'd just get a grin because no one could remember anything remarkable about the network.

By 2009.....they were in financial trouble.  You see.....advertisers noted that no one much was watching and refusing to pay remarkable amounts of money.  In four short years, they had hit absolute peak in terms of viewership.

In 2011, they did format changes....brought in some big names....trying to impress the news media critics and getting viewership back up.

It was shortly after this that Al Jazeera came along with the idea of paying $500 million for the network....rename the network Al Jazeera America.....and give Americans a taste of news with an Arab-slant.

Bluntly, it was a flop.

Today, it's noted in the business news that they will shut down the network by April....admitting that whatever business model they had in mind.....was a failure.  They couldn't attract more viewers or increasing ratings which would have drawn higher commercial income.

Al, in some ways, is a lucky guy.  He and his team was able to convince Al Jazeera to pay $500 million for a nonperforming network, that simply reached into millions of homes but wasn't readily viewed by anyone much.

How much did Al put into the operation to start with?  Unknown.  No one talks about the beginning angle to Current TV or Al's contribution.  My humble guess is that he probably arranged some type of contribution of a couple of million....showed up at various parties to get enthusiastic investors to dump their money into the operation....and got a certain percentage of the sale because of his help in getting it started (kinda like the White Water episode if you think about it).

The end?  Well.....only until some rich guys with some agenda or business gimmick get all excited and repeat this experience again to draw in some dopey business syndicate to spend money on a fiasco.