Al Jazeera Acquires Al Gore's Current TV to Target US Audience
By Prasanth Aby Thomas | January 3, 2013 4:28 PM EST
Qatar-based cable news channel Al Jazeera has bought US television network Current TV paving way to expand its reach to over 40 million households in the United States.
The state-owned pan-Arab network said that it will establish a US-based English news channel with headquarters in New York and have bureaus in key locations across the country. This will be in addition to the channel's already existing newsrooms in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
"For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States and what we are announcing today will help us achieve that goal," the director general of Al Jazeera, Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said in a statement.
"By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the US, as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America."
Current TV, which is co-founded by the former US Vice President Al Gore, is known to have low viewership despite being distributed to 60 million of the 100 million US households.
The details of the deal are not officially announced but analysts suggest that it could be worth about $500m (£308m, €380m), about eight times more than the $60m that was paid by the Current TV founders to its predecessors seven years ago.
Following the deal, Gore and Current TV chief executive officer Joel Hyatt will be retained in the network's advisory board.
"We are proud and pleased that Al Jazeera, the award-winning international news organization, has bought Current TV," the Current TV founders said in a statement.
"Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us," they said.
The move is set to bring Al Jazeera in direct contest against the US television giants like Fox, MSNBC and CNN. But industry experts point out that the channel, which has presence in about 130 countries, will have difficulties attracting American distributors and audience. At present, the channel reaches 4.7 million households.
"People in America associate Al Jazeera with the Muslim world or the Arab world or the Islam world and they have problems with that," said Jimmy Schaeffler, pay TV consultant at The Carmel Group told Reuters.
"They have psychological, political and emotional concerns and that will work against them."
Time Warner Cable, which provided Current TV to 12 million homes, has already said that it is cancelling the network deal, without offering much detail. Other distributors have not commented on the matter.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Boards London Train in Casual Disguise, Royal Couple’s Incognito Plan A Huge Hit [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt’s Top Secret Wedding Tramps Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Friends’ Reunion & Pregnancy Talks [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- MH370 Update: Australians Unveil New Map To Find The Missing Plane
- Court Grants Indian Man Divorce Over Wife’s Insatiable Sex Demands
- Ebola Virus 'Rapidly Mutating' as Research Finds Almost 400 Mutations; International Aid Moves at a Snail's Pace
- ISIS Threat: Australia Terror Alert Level at 'Medium' as Saudi King Warns of Attacks in Europe in a Month
- Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photos Leak Raises Doubts on Apple's iCloud; How to Secure Apple ID
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- Moto G2 Release Roundup: Specs, Pricing, and Release Date Details
- PlayStation 4 Killing Xbox One Costing Microsoft Millions But It's Fine
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans
- iPhone 6 On Release Date To Feature Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE, 1GB RAM, Mobile Payment Deal With AMEX, 1334x750 Display
- 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 is iPhone Air on Sept 19 Release Date: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying