Extreme Sports Eyes U.S. Launch


The London-based Extreme Group plans to bring a 24-hour version of its
Extreme Sports Channel to the United States by the fourth quarter, CEO Al
Gosling said Wednesday.

Interest in the channel has picked up since the Winter Olympic Games, where
such new sports as half-pipe snowboarding received primetime exposure on NBC,
Gosling said.

The company -- which distributes its programming overseas to 10.5 million
subscribers in 48 countries and in seven languages -- has talked with digi-net
incubator TVFusion and 'a number of large media companies and cable operators'
about taking equity stakes in the U.S. channel, he added.

Another possible partner is Fox Cable Networks Group. Extreme Group announced
a deal with Fox Sports Net Wednesday to carry about five hours per week of
Extreme programming.

ESPN spokesman Chris LaPlaca said his company isn't in talks with Extreme
Group, but it is interested in what it prefers to call 'action sports.'

ESPN, creator of The X-Games, has considered launching its own such digi-net
sometime down the road, he added.