The Extreme Sports Channel
is a Netherlands
-based extreme sports television channel
available across Europe
and the Middle East
. Al Gosling had the idea for the channel in 1998, after having success with Extreme Entertainment a television distribution company (then called Extreme International) which was set up in 1995. In April 1998 Al believed there was an opportunity to take the programming library that had been built and create the world's first TV channel dedicated to extreme sports. The goal was to launch a 24/7 Extreme Sports Channel, the TV channel broadcasting action sports worldwide, via satellite to an under-served audience. It launched in 1999 as a joint venture between cable company UPC and the Extreme Group . After building up the business the Extreme Group's 50% and 30% stake was bought out in October 2005 for an undisclosed multi million dollar sum by John Malone's Liberty Global inc, who had by then became owners of UPC. However ownership of the extreme brand was retained by Al Gosling's Extreme Group,who have gone onto take the Extreme brand into a number of areas where they offer products and services that deliver something new, different and innovative. They have a dual strategy of building companies in service based areas and forming licensing partnerships in product based areas. Today Extreme branded businesses are turning over $47m and cover 22 sectors including Extreme Hotels, restaurants, drinks, mobile, travel and experiences, retail stores, clothing and footwear, credit cards and theme parks for more info see .
The Extreme Sports Channel broadcasts to over 50 countries with 12 different language soundtracks, and is generally available on digital cable as well as on many digital satellite packages, including UPC Direct in the Czech Republic, Cyfrowy Polsat in Poland, Kabel Deutschland in Germany and Canal Digital in Norway and in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Levant territories broadcasting via satellite, exclusively from the Showtime Arabia pay-TV network.
Content from the channel is also narrowcast on Cabvision installed in London Black cabs.
The UK version of the channel was free-to-air from launch in 2001 until Summer 2006, when a deal with BSkyB meant that it became encrypted.
Extreme Sports Channel's on air broadcast trannsmissions are handled by Chellomedia's playout and post production facility (the Digital Media centre) in Amsterdam.