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Fox Channels launches Fuel for European teen skate fans
Thursday, 27 May 2004




Fox International Channels is launching a new television network in Europe called Fuel, a youth channel offering skateboarding, music and other sports.

Fuel is already running in the US, where it reaches 10m homes, and Australia, where it was launched in March. Fox said that it would start its European rollout in Italy in the last quarter of 2004 and that it was in discussions with platforms in the UK, German, Central Europe, France and Scandinavia for distribution.

The programming is a mix of skate, BMX, surfing and snowboarding programming, with occasional forays into 'Jackass'-inspired stunt shows and music, aimed at an audience of 13- to 24-year-olds.

Some of the programmes on the US network include 'American Misfits', which is "jam-packed with scandals, skits and surprises" and promises that "skateboarding and stupidity never looked this good"; and 'First Aid', which is described on the Fuel website as "60 seconds of the most bone-crushing and brutal wipeouts, slams, and other sports mishaps".

Marina Williams, vice-president of Fox International Channels Europe, said: "Fuel has been well received in the US and is rapidly expanding its distribution domestically. The first international launch has been in Australia, where the channel is also proving to be hugely popular.

"The secret of Fuel's success is the really unique blend of programmes and the level of original material that we invest in. We firmly believe that this channel will become part of the youth lifestyle and culture in Europe where teenagers are under-served in quality life-style entertainment."

She said that there are plans to launching Fuel in Asia in 2005 and there are discussions for a Latin American version. It hopes to have access to 15m subscribers in Europe by the end of the first quarter of 2004.

In January, Fox launched men's entertainment channel FX in the UK on Sky Digital.

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