Time Warner Cable Cuts Deal to Carry Al Jazeera America

Al Jazeera America Tonight

Bright House also to carry cable newser backed by the Qatar government

Time Warner Cable inked a pact to carry Al Jazeera America, significantly expanding the reach of the fledgling cable-newser backed by the Qatar government.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.  TW Cable will add Al Jazeera America for digital basic subscribers in New York, L.A. and Dallas within the next six months and in other markets in its footprint after that. Under the agreement, Bright House Networks — which takes advantage of TW Cable’s programming pacts — also will add the newser to lineups.

According to Al Jazeera America, the deal increases its distribution from 44 million to 55 million households.

“We said in January that we would consider Al Jazeera America. Now that the channel is live, we think that it would be of value to our customers and are pleased to make it available,” Melinda Witmer, Time Warner Cable’s exec VP and chief video and content officer, said in a statement.

Al Jazeera America debuted Aug. 20 through pacts with providers including Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network and Verizon FiOS TV. Time Warner Cable has about 11.7 million video subscribers nationwide, and Bright House has about 2 million.

In January, Al Jazeera purchased Al Gore’s Current TV cable network for a reported $500 million. Al Jazeera America, which is competing with cable news mainstays Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, positions itself as offering “unbiased, fact-based and in-depth journalism.”

SEE ALSO: Al Jazeera America Chief Sees Challenges Ahead

“(W)e appreciate the vote of confidence that Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have given to our brand of unbiased journalism and look forward to working with them as Al Jazeera America continues to grow,” Al Jazeera America interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi said in a prepared statement.

AT&T U-verse had been scheduled to carry Al Jazeera America when the channel launched in August, but the telco backed out claiming the programmer had breached certain terms of their agreement. Al Jazeera America then sued AT&T for breach of contract; the lawsuit is pending.

Al Jazeera America, based in New York, says it has 12 bureaus in major cities around the U.S. and operates three broadcast centers. The channel employs nearly 800 journalists and staff.

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