Doha-based news and current affairs channel Al Jazeera English (AJE) has commenced 24-hour broadcasts in the US for the first time today.
The station was picked up by independent, non-commercial broadcaster MHz Networks, which offers internationally sourced content across the Washington D.C. region.
“We know there is a great demand in the United States for AJE’s groundbreaking news and current affairs programming,” stated Phil Lawrie, director of global distribution for Al Jazeera.
“Our website receives 22 million visits every month with over 50% coming from America, and our branded YouTube page is by far the most popular news site [on the video sharing site],” he added.
“We applaud MHz for being among the first US providers to air the channel.”
Despite maintaining a base of operations in Washington, 24-hour carriage in the US market has proved elusive for AJE, which launched in 2006 and is available in more than 100 countries.
Its move into the US market is part of a concerted push by the news and current affairs provider to increase its global coverage area.
AJE has reportedly applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for permission to broadcast its content within the North American nation, despite the earlier rejection of a similar application by Al Jazeera’s Arabic news station.
Mobile and web news service provider 1Cast also announced today that AJE content would be added to its news offering, which currently includes organisations such as BBC World, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg.
“It’s a fascinating development that will allow audiences to view our news broadcasts - which often originate in places such as the streets of Pakistan or Baghdad - on a smart phone or via the web just seconds later in America,” said Lawrie.
“Our new partnership with 1Cast expands on our commitment to give global citizens access to world news delivered from a refreshing, alternative perspective via multiple technologies, both traditional and new."