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Wed 3 Aug 2011 12:40 PM

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Qatar's Al Jazeera English launches in New York

Qatar-based news channel inks deal with Time Warner to expand US footprint

Qatar's Al Jazeera English launches in New York
Al Jazeera news channel

Further
popularized and legitimized by the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera English has
incrementally expanded its presence in the US broadcast market, and Sunday revealed
its biggest move to date.

Since
midnight on Monday, Al Jazeera English has been available to Time Warner
subscribers in New York City and will soon be available to Verizon FiOS
subscribers in the Big Apple as well, reports the New York Times.

The
network is available via satellite across the country, but only on television
in specific markets like Washington DC and Houston.

While
this only secures the eyeballs of one more American city – and by subletting
space on a small channel – it is New York City; the metropolis just over a
month away from commemorating the tenth anniversary of the September 11
terrorist attacks.

Yet
it also happens to be the city in which it is most popular.

Al
Jazeera English launched in 2006 as a competitor to CNN International and the
BBC, but it long struggled to escape the negative stigma its parent company, Al
Jazeera Arabic, had developed with many Americans. Fair or not, because Al
Jazeera Arabic broadcast videos of hostages taken by terrorists, many viewed the network
as supportive of such groups.

When
uprisings and protests jolted North Africa and the Middle East earlier this
year, Al Jazeera English was in position to broadcast all of it with great
ability and flexibility.

Americans
began to flock to its website for the latest developments and Secretary of
State Hilary Clinton lauded the network for its commitment to real news rather
than punditry.

This
increased popularity has led it to add distribution pacts in a few markets, but
this is its biggest move yet.

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