Fuel TV to Webcast and Broadcast Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA – FUEL TV, the only network dedicated to the lifestyle of action sports, is excited to partner with Rip Curl and offer an HD quality webcast and a live broadcast of the Rip Curl Pro Search. FUEL TV’s coverage will include an HD quality webcast of the Men’s Round of 16 to the finals (www.fuel.tv/ripcurlprosearch). There will be a live broadcast of the Round of 16 to the finals on FUEL TV Australia and FUEL TV Portugal, and a taped delay of the finals broadcast on FUEL TV in the United States on October 29, 2009 at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT. FUEL TV will be airing a taped half-hour special of the women’s Rip Curl Pro Search on December 3, 2009 at 8:00pm ET/PT and will broadcast an hour-long men’s highlights show in early 2010.

The 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search will be held in Peniche, Portugal, from October 19 until October 30, 2009. It’s the ninth stop of the ASP World Tour and is one of the most exciting events of the year because of its unique “floating” license that lets Rip Curl hold the contest at different locations around the world each year, searching for the perfect wave. Both men and women will compete in Portugal at the venue dubbed Supertubes, a powerful A-frame wave that locals compare to Pipeline when it gets big.

“We’re excited that we’ll be offering an HD quality webcast of the Rip Curl Pro Search for the United States, and we’re even more stoked that FUEL TV is bringing its coverage of surfing to the next level,” says Gene Pao, FUEL TV Vice President of New Media and International Development. “Following up on our successful partnership with Rip Curl on the Bells event, adding the live broadcast on FUEL TV Australia and FUEL TV Portugal, and tape delay broadcast on FUEL TV USA gives surfing fans more opportunities than ever before to watch the contest. This unique partnership is only possible thanks to the global reach of FUEL TV, with networks up and running in the United States, Australia and Portugal, all working together with Rip Curl to pull off these various viewing options. ”

“We’re thrilled to be working with FUEL TV on this project,” says Neil Ridgway, Rip Curl’s Group Advertising and Marketing Chairman. “To have the contest broadcast live in Australia and Portugal, and tape delay in the United States is really special for surfing fans. Many of the top surfers are from Australia and the U.S. and with the event being held this year in Portugal, it’s fortuitous that all three FUEL TV channels are able to broadcast the contest. We were happy with the results of the webcast we did with FUEL TV for the Rip Curl Pro Bells in April and it’s so exciting to watch this collaboration grow to the next level by incorporating this live broadcast.”

“The live broadcast of the Rip Curl Pro Search is a ground-breaking achievement for FUEL TV Australia,” says Adam Howarth, FUEL TV Australia Channel Manager. “This is a first for Australian television and to be able to deliver live coverage of a major surfing event to a surf-hungry nation like Australia is something we’ve been pursuing for some time.”

“A major bonus with the event being held in Portugal this year is that the time difference allows Australians to watch the contest during our prime-time,” he continues. “This is a watershed moment for the sport of surfing and would never have been possible without the outstanding support of Rip Curl. We also believe it will be the catalyst for a new era in broadcasting of the sport, where live surfing will be delivered more regularly to a broader audience.”

“The timing couldn’t be better for FUEL TV Portugal to present its first-ever live broadcast of a WCT event,” says Fernando Figueiredo, general manager of FUEL TV Portugal. “Despite our country’s size, Portugal boasts a strong community of surfers and a number of world class breaks. We’re extremely pleased with the opportunity to share this event with all of Portugal’s residents.” FUEL TV Portugal, which launched in April 2008, is available through Meo IPTV and Vodafone IPTV.

FUEL TV continues to provide entertaining and exciting content to the action sports community, and it’s recently produced several HD quality webcasts, including the 2009 Hurley Pro and the 2009 Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing, as well as the Vans Downtown Showdown and the 2009 Maloof Money Cup skateboard contests.

FUEL TV is offering full-length episodes of its programming in HD Streaming on its web site. Viewers can watch HD versions of shows such as “Firsthand,” “New Pollution” and “The Great Ride Open” using the same HD player as is used for the 2009 Rip Curl Pro webcast.

Make sure to check out the FUEL TV webcast of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search starting on Monday, October 19, 2009, depending on the waves and contest conditions. In the United States, viewers will be able to watch the webcast on www.fuel.tv in three ways, including live; on a tape delay basis from the start; and as individual heats, which allows viewers to select the heats they want to watch in their entirety. Also for the first time, the HD quality stream powered by FUEL TV will be available directly from the Rip Curl live webcast page, so viewers will not need to change websites to watch the HD quality stream. The tape delayed broadcast of the Rip Curl Pro Search men’s finals will take place on FUEL TV on October 29, 2009 at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT.

FUEL TV is the only 24/7 action sports lifestyle network for skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX, freestyle motocross, and wakeboarding. A unit of Fox Cable Networks, FUEL TV was launched July 1, 2003 and is seen in 30 million U.S. homes. FUEL TV programming is available in more than 50 countries around the world with 24/7 channels operating in Australia and Portugal. To subscribe to FUEL TV, call 877-4-FUEL-TV. For program times and other information, visit www.fuel.tv.