New 24-hour Action Sports Network to Launch in July 2003 With Events, Original Series and More
LOS ANGELES — Listening to the voices of action sports participants and industry insiders, General Manager David Sternberg and CJ Olivares, Vice President, Programming and Marketing, today announced FUEL as the official name of the anxiously anticipated 24-hour digital service dedicated to the world of extreme action sports that launches this July. FUEL’s compelling original series and acquired programming will kick it off.
“Naming the network was not an easy task,” said Sternberg in making the announcement. “Today’s youth are smart enough to know when corporate America is trying too hard to relate. We feel the name is an organic, but not contrived, expression of their individuality and their ideals of freedom, which FUEL´s programming and positioning will embrace.”
FUEL originals will cover both competitive and non-competitive action from skateboarding, surfing, BMX, motocross, snowboarding and wakeboarding; emerging artists and musicians from within both the action sports industry and indy record labels; and showcase behind-the-camera talent through innovative new series. FUEL originals will also key into the action sports lifestyles that transcend families and time.
“This initial program offering represents the efforts of our highly creative team of seasoned action sports producers. We believe these shows meet our objective of providing an authentic expression of action sports and youth culture,” said Olivares.
Original FUEL series premiering throughout July include “Firsthand,” a day-in-life show about your favorite action sports athletes; “Check 1,2” featuring an action sports personality and recognizable recording artist for a one-of-a-kind jam session; “Fuel Live Concert Series” bringing you live performances from up and coming alternative and indy acts with behind-the scenes coverage, special sound check performances and interviews; Red Square Productions’ “Project Detention,” a compilation of trick submissions from groms and unknowns around the country; “10 Count,” highlighting a countdown of 10 tricks, moments, runs and waves from action sports; and “Refused TV,” a 30-minute music video and interview show featuring an eclectic mix of indy, urban, Brit, garage and alternative acts.
“IMS Sports applauds FUEL for taking the initiative and leading the charge for this elusive but highly sought demographic and we are sure that they will enjoy tremendous success from this asset in the coming years. The opportunity that FUEL has created for athletes, musicians, clothing brands and event promoters alike, is unparalleled in the action sport market,” supports Adam Jacoby, CEO of IMS Sports LLC.
Expressing the athlete’s view, skateboarder Eric Koston echoes industry sentiments, “The launch of FUEL confirms that action sports are an important part of today’s youth. I look forward to being a part of its success.”
Additionally, FUEL has licensed the Bruce Brown Film Collection, including the iconic “Endless Summer” and cult favorite “On Any Sunday,” as well as, the other 6 films in the collection. The mix of original and acquired programming will be complemented by a unique blend of 30-90 second interstitials. The first of the interstitials are “f-stop,” which looks at the most groundbreaking photos in the world of action sports and “f-word,” which gives athletes and viewers a forum to speak their mind on various topics.
FUEL has also entered into new marketing partnerships with top agencies and advertisers interested in building brand sampling and loyalties in key product categories. These range from producers and distributors of video games to motion pictures and entertainment, telecommunications, quick service restaurants, soft drinks, athletic shoes, automotive and armed services recruitment. Given that the audience is digital savvy, FUEL also expects to work with partnered cable, satellite and othher digital providers to further extend its action sports concept and future community into several other video-on-demand, mobile and interactive service extensions.
FUEL will be available to consumers on both DIRECTV, the nation’s largest direct broadcast satellite television service, serving more than 11 million digital homes, and Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable television provider and an industry leader in the transition to digital, serving another 13 million homes. DIRECTV will add FUEL to its Sports Pack package of more than 20 specialty and regional sports networks, and Time Warner Cable add FUEL to its digital sports tier. Additional distributors will be announced at a later date.