Al Jazeera acquires Current TV in $500m deal
International news operator Al Jazeera has acquired Al Gore’s Current TV in a move that will give it significant access to the US market.
The company, which had previously been attempting to ramp up distribution for its Al Jazeera English news network in the US, will replace Current TV with new channel, Al Jazeera America.
The move comes after Gore and his business partner and Current TV chief executive Joel Hyatt put the broadcaster up for sale last October. The deal was reportedly worth $500m.
Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of Qatari-based Al Jazeera said: “By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the US, as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America.”
“We are proud and pleased that Al Jazeera, the award-winning international news organization, has bought Current TV,” said Current TV cofounder and chairman Al Gore.
Al Jazeera America, which will feature 60% local programming with the remaining content sources from its Al Jazeera English station, will be available in around 40 million homes.
However, Time Warner Cable, one of the largest cable operators in the United States, will not air the channel after triggering a change-of-ownership clause.
“Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service,” Time Warner Cable said in a statement.