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Al Jazeera America Launch Draws Weak Ratings

Al Jazeera America is off to a sluggish ratings start as expected.

According to Nielsen data for Monday as it kicked off its first full week, AJAM’s most popular primetime show was “America Tonight,” which attracted 27,000 viewers. In comparison, Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” drew 2.97 million, MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow” bagged 970,000, and CNN’s “Anderson Cooper” reeled in 627,000.

Last Thursday night’s “Real Money with Ali Velshi,” which only drew 54,000 viewers, was the new network’s highest rated show last week, TV Newser reported. AJAM’s launch hour — Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. — averaged 22,000, below Nielsen’s minimum accuracy threshold. This means that the number is essentially an estimate, as Nielsen couldn’t accurately count the viewers.

By comparison, Al Jazeera America’s main Twitter handle has more followers than its highest-rated show last week, having accumulated over 75,000 followers at the time of this article’s publication.

The Tuesday debuts of “The Stream” and “America Tonight” averaged 38,000 and 34,000 viewers, respectively. The Thursday noon edition of “News Live,” on the other hand, averaged 40,000, while the Saturday 2 p.m. show attracted 8,000 more viewers. Meanwhile, “Inside Story” reeled in 41,000 viewers Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

AJAM, which replaced the low-rated Current TV, is currently broadcast in only 40 million homes after losing several million homes when AT&T dropping the network on launch day.

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