Current TV, the cable network founded by former vice president Al Gore, put itself up for sale after receiving overtures from potential suitors.
“Current has been approached many times by media companies interested in acquiring our company,” San Francisco-based Current TV said today in an e-mailed statement. “This year alone, we have had three inquiries. As a consequence, we thought it might be useful to engage expertise to help us evaluate our strategic options.”
The company is interviewing investment banks, the New York Post reported earlier today, citing an unidentified source. The network was created in 2005 by Gore and Joel Hyatt, the co- founder of Hyatt Legal Services. It is available in 60 million U.S. households, and 70 million worldwide, according to its website.
Among Current TV’s programs are “The War Room,” featuring former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, and “Viewpoint,” hosted by Eliot Spitzer, New York’s former chief executive, also a Democrat. Gore served under President Bill Clinton.
The business generated $101 million in revenue and $11.8 million in cash flow last year, the research firm SNL Kagan estimated. The bulk of those sales came from cable-TV operators who paid on average 12 cents per subscriber each month. By comparison, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) takes in more than $5 per subscriber for its ESPN sports network, the industry leader.
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