Al Jazeera acquires Current TV

The acquisition will extend its reach to more than 40 million US homes
News, Broadcast Business


Al Jazeera Network has announced it has acquired US cable TV channel, Current TV.

The Qatari network said it plans to create Al Jazeera America, a US-based news channel, and that Al Jazeera’s coverage will now reach 40 million US homes, up from 4.7 million before the acquisition.

The terms of the buyout were not disclosed, but analysts told Reuters the deal could be worth approximately $500m. Al Jazeera America will have its headquarters in New York, and the network will also open news bureaus in other strategic locations within the United States.

The news network is watched in more than 260 million homes in 130 countries, but had limited access to the American market. It announced it would soon double its US-based staff to more than 300 employees.

"For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States and what we are announcing today will help us achieve that goal," 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."

The new channel is scheduled to begin broadcasting in 2013.

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