Al Jazeera English eyes North American distribution

Al Jazeera English (AJE) has applied for carriage on Canadian Cable networks and launched a new web portal aimed at refining its profile in North America.
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Al Jazeera English (AJE) has applied for carriage on Canadian Cable networks and launched a new web portal aimed at refining its profile in North America.

The channel currently reaches 130 million people in more than 100 countries, however it has struggled to find mainstream distribution channels in Canada and the US.

The network has now confirmed that it has applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to obtain a place on the list of eligible satellite services.

The application process involves a 30-day period of feedback from the public. In order to garner public support, the network has established a website – IWantAJE.net – to dispel common misconceptions about the channel.

“It is clear to us there is a significant demand for AJE in Canada,” said Tony Burman, managing director, Al Jazeera English.

“Canadians want to understand the world in all of its diversity and cultural richness. Our website receives 22 million visits every month with over 50 percent coming from North America, and our branded YouTube page is by far the most popular news site on YouTube,” claimed Burman.

“These numbers alone show how hungry Canadians are for the fearless, groundbreaking reporting that runs daily on AJE. This is a demonstration of the country's commitment to freedom of expression.”

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