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Al Jazeera buys US channel Current TV

Posted on January 3rd, 2013 at 15:32 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


Al Jazeera Media Network has announced that it has acquired US cable channel Current TV.

The Qatar-based network said on Thursday that with the acquisition it plans to create Al Jazeera America, a US-based news channel. Al Jazeera’s coverage will soon be available in more than 40 million US households, up from 4.7 million prior to the deal.

Terms were undisclosed, but analysts told the Reuters news agency the deal could be worth an estimated $500m. The new channel will be headquartered in New York City.

In addition to the existing Al Jazeera news bureaus in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, Al Jazeera will open additional bureaus in key locations across the United States. It will also double its US-based staff to more than 300 employees.


Al-Jazeera has long struggled to get carriage in the U.S., and the deal suffered an immediate casualty as Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation’s second-largest cable TV operator, announced it is dropping Current TV due to the deal.

“Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement.

I’m sure the fact that Time Warner owns CNN has nothing to do with that…

  1. I’m sure too, because:

    Originally controlled by Time Warner (the film and television production company and cable channel operator), that company spun out the cable operations in March 2009 as part of a larger restructuring. Since then, Time Warner Cable has been an entirely independent company, merely continuing to use the Time Warner and Road Runner High Speed Online brands under license from its former parent. Time Warner Cable does own several local news and sports channels, but it no longer has any corporate affiliation with national cable channels such as CNN or HBO, which remain the property of the original Time Warner. (Wikipedia)

  2. It’s natural that capitalists never want to have incoming competition in a market. The idea that they could forestall competition by improving their product is, obviously, stupid. (It is only practiced by the most successful companies.)

  3. I think it would be a good thing to have a news channel in the United States. It has been a while since we had one. Thanks to FOX News’s ratings success, both CNN and MSNBC have had to morph into political entertainment channels, too.

    There is a big world out there about which Americans are largely ignorant. Al Jazeera English is a competent product, and about 60% of its web-viewers are in the US. If Al Jazeera manages to get any cable ratings success with their American offering on other carriers (please, Comcast), Time Warner will come around.

    In the corporate world, money is more important than ideology.

    (By the way, did you know Roger Aisles used to produce the Mike Douglas Show in Cleveland and later in Philadelphia?)

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