Al Gore just trousered a cool $100 million by selling his beleagured cable TV channel to Al Jazeera. The ex-vice president turned climate change ‘expert’ hits pay-day!
After years of trying to sell Current TV, co-founder Al Gore hasfinally found a buyer for what some critics have lambasted over the years as America’s least watched cable network: Al Jazeera. Yet while the purchase price, which was undisclosed but reported at between $100 million and $500 million, may ultimately pay off for the pan-Arabic news network, it comes at quite a cost. Even the low-end of that price range suggests that Al-Jazeera paid more than $4,500 for each of the network’s viewers.
When Current was launched in 2005, it focused on airing user-generated videos in 8-minute segments. Seeking a larger audience, it then gradually move into producing long-form narrative video journalism and reality and documentary programming. For the last couple of years, it tried to position itself as a left-leaning broadcast alternative to the cable news channels.
Yet by 2010 the network was averaging only about 23,000 viewers a day. By comparison, the CW network averaged more than 200,000 viewers a day during the week of Dec. 23, 2012.
It is reported that the deal was for around US$500 million meaning Gore trousered around US$100 million. A nice pay day but it might have been more.
From the New York Times report on the sale of Al Gore’s Current TV to Al Jazeera, via Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook: “people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1. … But the deal was not signed until Wednesday.”
Oh dear, how sad, never mind. I can think of a song for poor old Al…