News net talks carriage with cable operators
Al Jazeera English is seeking carriage agreements in the U.S. after earning accolades for its coverage of the Egyptian revolution. Managing director Al Anstey is conducting Stateside meetings with cable operators including Long Island-based Comcast, according to the network.The Qatar-based news net is currently available in just three markets: Toledo, Ohio; Burlington, Vt.; and Washington, D.C. Satellite-only networks Link TV and GlobeCast World TV also syndicate AJE’s content. Stats provided by AJE cite a 2500% increase in Web traffic, half from the U.S., during the Egyptian revolution — the network provides a live streaming service to viewers outside its coverage area. During that period, pundits across print and Web publications took notice of AJE, comparing the depth of its coverage favorably to that of Stateside news orgs and dedicated news nets. “We’re very grateful for all the support and appreciation we’ve been receiving,” said Anstey in a release. “Clearly, the demand is there for Al Jazeera, and people want to see us on their screens.” As anti-government demonstrations have expanded in the Middle East, so has demand for deeper coverage of that region’s political landscape.