Al Jazeera Acquires Current TV

al-Jazeera-0021Qatar based Al Jazeera has acquired US cable network Current TV. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, analysts have estimated the deal could have been worth up to $500 million (Source).

Current TV was launched in 2005 by former US Vice President Al Gore and fellow Democrat Joel Hyatt centred on featuring a mixture of user generated content and original programming. With this approach the network achieved only disappointing ratings, prompting a shift towards traditional programming in 2009. Later movements towards becoming a more progressive news channel have brought typical viewer figures of around 42,000.

Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of Al Jazeera, 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.”

Al Jazeera has continued that it will eventually replace Current TV’s programming and plans to use the acquisition to create Al Jazeera America (separate from Al Jazeera English), enabling it to allow its programming to reach more than 40 million US households, compared to the 4.7 million today. Furthermore, Al Jazeera will open bureaus in the US in addition to those already existing in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, doubling its US based staff.

Qatar, Doha & US, San Francisco, CA

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