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Current TV Fields Offers but Will the Network Sell?

Friday, 26 Oct 2012 | 8:39 PM ET

The media has been abuzz with rumors that Al Gore backed Current TV is on the block. The company has fielded offers in the past — could it be taking them more seriously this time?

Source: current.com

Current TV CEO Joel Hyatt wouldn't say whether or not he wants to sell, but he confirmed that the company has been fielding calls from interested buyers.

"Current has been approached many times by media companies," Hyatt said, adding that he's already had three inquiries this year.

Reports suggest that Current has hired advisers to assess its options, that could include a sale or strategic partnership.

Hyatt wouldn't give any more details about plans, just saying that the company is having conversations.

Current is owned by CEO Hyatt, along with Vice President Al Gore, its chairman, and some private investors. (Read More: 10 Richest US Presidential Candidates.)

The company has struggled to take off since it launched in 2005. It withdrew a planned IPO in 2009, and had a failed stint with Keith Olbermann—hiring him in 2011 before firing him in March. (Read More: Current TV Dismisses Keith Olbermann.)

Who would want to buy Current? Any media company interested in its distribution to about 60 million homes. That includes News Corp after it spins off its publishing divisions. CBS has expressed interest in growing its cable presence beyond Showtime. Or even Disney or Time Warner could look to grow their cable footprint. Channels with cable distribution don't become available that often. The goal would be to grow the channel so the owner could earn more per subscriber. (Read more: Murdoch Wins: Shareholder Proposals Rejected)

—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin
@JBoorstin

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.