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Wed 30 Jun 2010 02:19 PM

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Al Jazeera launches free TV service in Britain

Arab news network to be able to reach 80% of Britain's 25 million households.

Al Jazeera launches free TV service in Britain
ENGLISH CHANNEL: Al Jazeera English was launched in 2006. (Getty Images)

Arab news network Al Jazeera will begin broadcasting its English news channel on Britain's Freeview free digital platform on Thursday, making the UK its biggest English-speaking market for free TV.

The network, which has branched out into several channels and the Web since its foundation as an independent Arabic news channel in 1996, will be able to reach 80 percent of Britain's 25 million households.

Al Jazeera English is already available on satellite platforms Freesat and Sky in Britain, and reaches about 200 million homes worldwide, mostly on pay-TV platforms.

Al Jazeera, which is based in Doha, aims to provide an alternative view of international news to those provided by other, Western global news providers like the BBC or Time Warner's CNN.

The sometimes dissenting views of the network, which was best known in the West for broadcasting hostage videos and messages from Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, have caused controversy in many Middle Eastern countries.

Al Jazeera English was launched in 2006. (Reuters)

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Markus 10 years ago

Its about time the British public gets the chance to view a more balanced point of view of the world, in contrast to the skewed and biased sources they have been accustomed to. maybe this will help change British foreign policy to the better.

Barney Stinson 10 years ago

The BBC is the most balanced news channel. Fox News and Al Jazeera are just opposite ends of the spectrum - I don't trust either.