Al Jazeera to launch English language digital streaming service in U.S.

A woman passes by the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in midtown Manhattan in New York City January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Al Jazeera Media Network is preparing to make its English language international news channel video content digitally available to U.S. viewers again, according to a July 21 email sent to employees obtained by Reuters.

The move comes almost three months after it shut down its U.S. cable television network, Al Jazeera America, citing economic challenges in the U.S. media market.

Al Jazeera English reaches more than 305 million households in over 160 countries. But U.S. viewers could not access its live stream coverage.

Al Jazeera English is in talks with cable carriers that carried the now defunct Al Jazeera America to make its live video stream available in the U.S. starting in September, according to the email from Giles Trendle, acting managing director of Al Jazeera English and director of programs.

“I am pleased to be able to say that, all going well, AJE will [be] available in the USA, across digital platforms, in September,” the email stated. “The exact date will be fixed once we get the green light from our Legal team, who have been concluding deals with the cable carriers of AJAM.”

The memo did not specify which cable carriers.

“We won’t comment on internal memos that are informal and not definitive,” said Hasan Salim Patel, a spokesman for Al Jazeera Media Network.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network shut down Al Jazeera America on April 30, three years after its high profile launch. At the time, the company said it would expand its international digital service in the U.S. as more consumers use their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for news.

Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Bernard Orr