Oct 24 Time Warner Cable will carry Al
Jazeera America, which it had dropped earlier this year, giving
the cable news channel a bigger foothold in the United States,
where it has struggled to gain distribution.
The channel, which is owned by Qatar-based Al Jazeera and
launched in August, will be available on digital basic cable
packages in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas in the next six
months, according to a statement by Time Warner Cable on
Time Warner Cable said it would add the channel on all of
its systems in the coming months. The company is the
second-largest U.S. cable provider, with 12 million subscribers.
Time Warner Cable declined to comment on the terms of the
deal, so it is unclear whether Al Jazeera was paying to be
carried on the cable system. A spokeswoman for Al Jazeera did
not respond to a request for comment on whether the network
would pay Time Warner Cable.
Last January, Time Warner Cable had dropped the channel just
hours after Al Jazeera announced it was buying Current TV, a
struggling cable channel founded by Al Gore.
Bright House Networks, a smaller cable system that Time
Warner Cable negotiates programming contracts for, will also
carry the new channel.
In a statement, Al Jazeera America interim Chief Executive
Officer Ehab Al Shihabi said the channel would now be available
in 55 million homes. It will still trail the reach of CNN
significantly since that network is available in about 100
Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator,
carries the network, as does DirecTV, Dish Network Corp
and Verizon Communications Inc's FiOS.
Al Jazeera has sued AT&T Inc, which decided not to
carry the channel on its U-verse TV service, which had 5.3
million subscribers as of Sept. 30. )
Globally, Al Jazeera is seen in more than 260 million homes
in 130 countries. But the new U.S. channel funded by the emir of
Qatar has so far had difficulty getting distributors, in part
because Al Jazeera was perceived by some as being anti-American
during the Iraq war.
Al Jazeera, which went live Aug. 20, has pledged to provide
in-depth coverage of stories ignored by other media outlets,
with bureaus in cities it considers underserved, such as
Nashville and Detroit. So far, the channel has not done well in