Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Surf’s Up? News Corp. Mulling Sale of “Action Sports” Channel Fuel TV.

fuel.tv_logoNews Corp. is reportedly interested in purchasing the Travel Channel from Cox for something like $800 million. Here’s one way to help pay for a small piece of that deal: Sell off its Fuel TV cable channel.

(Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the owner of Travel Channel as Discovery.)

Rupert Murdoch and company are mulling a sale of the “action sports” cable channel, prompted by inbound requests, industry sources tell me. No comment from News Corp., which also owns this Web site.

If News Corp. (NWS) does part with the channel, it won’t be a whopper of a deal: Fuel TV, which features skate- and surf-themed programming like “The Adventures of Danny and the Dingo” (I know. Me either.) boasts just 30 million subscribers–about half of what cable networks need to get taken seriously by operators and advertisers.

Just as telling, perhaps: I’ve queried three different Wall Street analysts to get a ballpark price for the network, and none had a clue–and only one had even heard of Fuel.

So here, for everyone’s edification, is some Fuel TV programming: Danny and the Dingo’s (who are snowboarding stars, apparently) most recent high jinks.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work