Al-Jazeera opens US push
- Published: 3 Jan 2013 at 22.34
- Online news:
The pan-Arab news giant Al-Jazeera bought Current TV, a failed US cable channel founded by ecology entrepreneur Al Gore, in a deal aimed at giving the Qatar-based broadcaster the scope to challenge major American TV networks.
Current, co-founded by the former US vice president, announced the sale Wednesday in a statement that was later confirmed by Al-Jazeera. The acquisition will allow the latter to reach millions more US homes than it does at present.The financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, but Forbes reported that a possible value of $400 million could net Gore $100 million.The purchase of Current will coincide with Al-Jazeera launching a US-based channel, heralding a push for vastly broader visibility in American homes, on the back of strong US use of its existing English service on the Internet.And it will put the broadcaster, which is financed by the Qatari government, into closer competition with CNN and other US news channels, as Al-Jazeera is offered only by a handful of American cable and satellite distributors.Although Current TV has been struggling for ratings, it nonetheless reaches 60 million American households, according to its own figures."We are proud and pleased that Al-Jazeera, the award-winning international news organization, has bought Current TV," said Gore, the San Francisco-based channel's chairman, and Joel Hyatt, co-founder and CEO, in a statement.Al-Jazeera, in a separate statement, said its new channel would be based in New York and will provide both domestic and foreign news for American viewers when it is launched this year, and increase its existing US staffing levels to more than 300.In addition to existing Al-Jazeera news bureaus in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, Al-Jazeera will open additional bureaus in key locations across the...
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