MOSCOW, January 3 (RIA Novosti) – Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network has acquired US cable channel Current TV, Al Jazeera has announced.
Al Jazeera plans to establish a US-based news channel, Al Jazeera America, to be headquartered in New York City, it said on Thursday.
Former US Vice President Al Gore set up Current Television seven years ago. Current is available to some 60 million homes with cable or satellite television in the United States.
Al Jazeera plans to open additional offices at key US locations in addition to its existing news bureaus in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
“For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States and what we are announcing today will help us achieve that goal,” Al Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said in a statement as quoted on Al Jazeera’s website.
“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.”
Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but the New York Times reported citing “people with direct knowledge of the deal” that it was around $500 million, with $100 million paid out to Gore who owned 20 percent of Current.