Al Jazeera Media Network has announced that it has acquired US cable channel Current TV.
The Qatar-based network said on Thursday that with the acquisition it plans to create Al Jazeera America, a US-based news channel. Al Jazeera’s coverage will soon be available in more than 40 million US households, up from 4.7 million prior to the deal.
Terms were undisclosed, but analysts told the Reuters news agency the deal could be worth an estimated $500m. The new channel will be headquartered in New York City.
In addition to the existing Al Jazeera news bureaus in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, Al Jazeera will open additional bureaus in key locations across the United States. It will also double its US-based staff to more than 300 employees.
Al-Jazeera has long struggled to get carriage in the U.S., and the deal suffered an immediate casualty as Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation’s second-largest cable TV operator, announced it is dropping Current TV due to the deal.
“Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement.
I’m sure the fact that Time Warner owns CNN has nothing to do with that…