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Thu 3 Jan 2013 11:30 AM

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Al Jazeera buys Al Gore’s Current TV

Deal to boost Doha-based network’s reach in the US to around 40m homes

Al Jazeera buys Al Gore’s Current TV
Al Jazeera news channel.

Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera has acquired Current TV, the cable television network founded by former US Vice President Al Gore.

The move will boost the Doha-based network’s reach in the US to around 40m homes, giving the pan-Arab station a significant boost in the US, something it has been struggling to achieve for many years.

“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,” Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, Al Jazeera’s director general, said in a statement.

Al Jazeera will close Current TV and replace it with a new network, Al Jazeera America, while Gore and co-founder and CEO Joel Hyatt will remain on the advisory board, it said.

The new channel will be headquartered in New York and in addition to existing bureaus in that city, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, Al Jazeera will open more bureaus, doubling the network’s US-based staff to more than 300 employees.

The Doha network, owned by the government of Qatar, did not disclose the purchase price but Bloomberg reported the deal to be valued at around US$500m, quoting two people familiar with the deal.

Current TV, founded in 2005 by Gore and Hyatt, is distributed in around 60m of the 100m homes in the US with cable or satellite service. Comcast Corp and DirecTV, with 22.4m and 19.8m subscribers, respectively, both distribute Current. 

Time Warner Cable on Wednesday said that it would stop carrying Current TV with the ownership change. “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service,” it said in a statement.

“We are removing the service as quickly as possible,” it added. Time Warner Cable had previously said it was considering dropping Current TV if it did not boost its ratings.

DXB 6 years ago

Everyone will be dropping Current TV as quickly as possible, American DO NOT want to watch Aljazeera no matter what, American will stop subscribing to their cable company if AL Jazeera is part of the bouquet. No, money will not buy you everything Qatar, you should stick to your neighborhood.
keep spending money like there is no tomorrow, Gore and his partners are laughing all the way to the bank.

procan 6 years ago

I hate to agree with DBX but he is on the money here ( no pun intended). Personally I believe more news sources the better. Deeply embedded suspicious and unfounded hatred of the Middle East is every where north America.

Qatari 6 years ago

Your comment show the real "American Freedom" your people claim to have. Your only worried because Al Jazeera can and hopefully WILL change the mindset of the brainwashed Americans.

procan 6 years ago

Al Jazeera is more than welcome to the news market place if they can afford it great for them. I wonder if Fox News would be as welcome in the Middle East news market place ? We still have Press TV (Iran) here in Canada and is great entertainment. It is so far off the wall ( by western sensibilities) much like SNL comedy show. Just a update Time Warner a Major Cable operator has just dropped Current TV when the announcement was made public here .Happy Capitalistism

Sam from Canada 6 years ago

Spoton Procan!
Sad part is they seem to be too arrogant and/or ignorant to want to face reality and/or the truth. NOT implying AlJazeera is (always) the truth :)

Everyone has an agenda, so cant blame them for having one too..

steve 6 years ago

Watching the USA election from Kuwait if I wanted to know what Demarcates were doing I watched NBC. Republicans I watched FOX. They all lie. News and Politicians. The politicians do not care and the news media takes sides and they don't care so whats the friggen point? everyone wants to be in control. Its really kinda scary if you stop and think as the cliff gets closer.

Nirsly 6 years ago

@procan

Fox news is already available in the Middle East, directly and through its puppet Sky News which is in Arabic and English. No one fought against their entry or broadcast on any service.

Unlike the hypocrisy of US freedom of speech which is specifically targeting Aljazeera, and even went so far as to Bomb Aljazeera offices in Afghanistan.

leo 6 years ago

Nirsly; you need to introduce your own kind of fantasy news coverage if you wish to equate skynews with Fox News.

Nirsly 6 years ago

@leo

Why? Do you have a problem with Fox News?