Al Jazeera America will soon be more widely available in U.S. markets thanks to a deal with Time Warner Cable, The New York Times reported today.
“The contract, to be announced on Thursday, is vital for Al Jazeera because Time Warner Cable supplies television to millions of households in New York and Los Angeles, two essential markets. Al Jazeera America will be added to the channel lineups in those markets this year, and in Time Warner Cable’s other markets by March,” The New York Times’ Brian Stelter reported.
The deal will make the Qatar-owned news channel available in 54 million households, Stelter reported, up from their current 44 million.
The channel replaced Current, which was then dropped by Time Warner. Ratings for the channel have, so far, been low, according to a recent story for National Review Online.
“AJAM’s headline program, America Tonight, pulled an average of 18,600 viewers last week. For comparison, the Monday viewership for MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was 997,000, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight was 530,000, and Fox’s The Kelly File was 2,066,000,” Alec Torres reported.
In August, Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon wrote about the debut of the channel and a list of things to know about it, including who it had hired and the hurdles it faced in the American market.
One of those was overcoming suspicions of Americans, who remembered the station broadcasting messages from Osama bin Laden.
In September, Pew Research released a detailed study that in its coverage of Syria, “the fledgling Al Jazeera America cable news channel provided viewers with content that often resembled what Americans saw on other U.S. cable news outlets…”.