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Al Jazeera buys Gore's Current TV, terms undisclosed

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Author Topic: Al Jazeera buys Gore's Current TV, terms undisclosed  (Read 137 times)
Psalm 51:17
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« on: January 03, 2013, 08:31:19 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/al-jazeera-buys-current-tv-terms-undisclosed-002643807--finance.html

1/3/13

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Al Jazeera said on Wednesday it will buy Current TV, the struggling cable channel founded by Al Gore and partners, in a move that will boost the Qatar-based broadcaster's footprint in the United States.
 
Terms were undisclosed, but analysts estimated the deal could be worth as much as $500 million.
 
Al Jazeera said it would start a new U.S.-based news channel with the acquisition, which will make it available in more than 40 million U.S. households, up from 4.7 million prior to the deal.
 
The deal brings Al Jazeera, which operates under the patronage of the emir of Qatar and his family, into closer competition with American news channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox.
 
But the award-winning channel that is seen in more than 260 million homes in 130 countries faces hurdles with U.S. distributors and viewers, television industry analysts said.
 
Current, a liberal channel which has battled low viewership, had been distributed in about 60 million of the 100 million homes in the United States with cable or satellite service.
 
One of its distributors, Time Warner Cable, which accounted for about 12 million of those homes, announced late Wednesday it was terminating its carriage 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," Time Warner Cable said in a statement.
 
Reuters reported in April Time Warner Cable was considering dropping Current if it did not reach certain ratings thresholds.
 
A spokesperson would not elaborate. Current is also distributed by Comcast Corp and DirecTV, with 22.4 million and 19.8 million subscribers, respectively.
 
Comcast or DirecTV were either unavailable or declined comment. Dish Network Corp also declined comment.
 
Both Comcast and DirecTV also hold equity stakes of more than 5 percent in Current, according to public filings.
 
Current said Gore, its chairman, and co-founder Joel Hyatt, the chief executive officer, will remain on the advisory board.
 
PARANOIA ABOUT AL JAZEERA
 
Analysts said Al Jazeera would have to overcome a significant image problem in the United States, where many viewers remember its stridently anti-war reporting of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
"Al Jazeera has deeper pockets. The downside is the politics. People in America associate Al Jazeera with the Muslim world or the Arab world or the Islam world and they have problems with that," said Jimmy Schaeffler, pay TV consultant at The Carmel Group.
 
"They have psychological, political and emotional concerns and that will work against them."
 
"There's a fair amount of paranoia when it comes to Al Jazeera," said Robert Thompson, professor of TV and popular culture at Syracuse University.
 
Al Jazeera has only been shown in a handful of cities. It said its new U.S.-based news channel would be separate from Al Jazeera English, and would provide both domestic and international news for American audiences.
 
The new channel would air in 2013 and would be headquartered in New York City. In addition to existing bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, Al Jazeera would open more bureaus and would double its U.S.-based staff to more than 300 employees.
 
Current was co-founded in 2005 but never caught on. It shifted to a more liberal format from 2011, but ratings continued to disappoint, said Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media, who pegged its average daily audience under 50,000 viewers and the value of a deal at $400 million to $500 million.
 
In late October, Current confirmed it was considering selling itself and had hired JP Morgan and the Raine Group to assess options.
 
Thompson said the deal came at a challenging time for the cable industry.
 
"Launching a cable network in the U.S. in the second decade of the 21st century is not an easy thing to do. Even Oprah Winfrey has struggled in significant ways," he said.
 
Disputes between pay TV distributors and cable networks have risen lately. Time Warner Cable also dropped arts-focused cable channel Ovation over its low ratings and the high costs of carrying the network.
 
(Reporting By Susan Zeidler; Editing by Gary Hill and Stephen Coates)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 08:38:25 pm by BornAgain2 » Report Spam   Logged

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Kilika
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 01:35:40 am »

Quote
People in America associate Al Jazeera with the Muslim world or the Arab world or the Islam world and they have problems with that," said Jimmy Schaeffler

Well, no kidding! It's a terrorist propaganda organization. That is a fact.

And now we have a former US Vice President sell to what amounts to a terrorist group that allows them access to the American public.

For starters, Gore needs to be run out of the country and his citizenship stripped, so he can go live in Qatar with his terrorist buddies.

I'll be writing Direct TV a letter for sure on this one! Drop that junk Current, or I drop DTV. No way will I support such a move.

Actually, I'm getting so fed up with cable/tv in general, I'm really getting close to dropping all television. I'm finding myself asking why in the world am I even paying for that junk that is nothing but re-runs of old shows that have already been shown hundreds of times. Even the movie channels are a ripoff, with them showing old shows over and over, with a new movie MAYBE twice a month. I'm just sick of it.

The wife and I have been looking into just how it would be to drop cable/satellite and go with just internet service and Hulu or some other movie service.

We currently pay right at 70/month for the basic expanded service, which is no movie channels at all, and in comparison, we can pay 8/month for Hulu or Netflix, and watch any of their movies anytime we want. With cable, your stuck with the movie lineup, like it or not. I already know how to hook up the tv to the internet, so I'm thinking it's only a matter of time.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 01:44:24 am by Kilika » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 10:35:16 am »


Actually, I'm getting so fed up with cable/tv in general, I'm really getting close to dropping all television. I'm finding myself asking why in the world am I even paying for that junk that is nothing but re-runs of old shows that have already been shown hundreds of times. Even the movie channels are a ripoff, with them showing old shows over and over, with a new movie MAYBE twice a month. I'm just sick of it.

The wife and I have been looking into just how it would be to drop cable/satellite and go with just internet service and Hulu or some other movie service.

We currently pay right at 70/month for the basic expanded service, which is no movie channels at all, and in comparison, we can pay 8/month for Hulu or Netflix, and watch any of their movies anytime we want. With cable, your stuck with the movie lineup, like it or not. I already know how to hook up the tv to the internet, so I'm thinking it's only a matter of time.

And throw in ESPN, NFLN, MLBN, FOX Sports, and these other junk sports "news" networks - I'm a sports fan myself, but these "networks" do nothing but repeat themselves every hour. They really "report" nothing new at the top of each hour. It's as if their intent is to mind control and hypnotise their audience. A couple of months ago we downgraded our Verizon subscription a notch, and all they did was pull NFLN, MLBN, FOX Sports, and the FOX movie channel from us(and added Hallmark, NBC Sports, just to name a few). So really no big loss here.

Plus the NFL went over the top this year by adding Thursday night games on the NFLN from week 2 to week 15(in years past, the Thursday/Saturday games wouldn't happen until the 2nd half, late in the year - which was more appropriate timing wise).

So overall no big loss or anything here.
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 02:13:07 pm »

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