×

Altice’s Patrick Drahi Vows to Bring i24 News, French-Language Channels to U.S.

PARIS — Patrick Drahi, the French-Israeli tycoon behind Altice, the new parent company of Cablevision and the U.S.’s fourth biggest telecommunications operator, told the AFP that Altice will be launching its news channel i24 News in the U.S. within a year.

Launched in 2013 and headquartered in Israel, i24 News would fill the void left by Al Jazeera America, which folded in January after bowing three years ago in the States.

“The French version (of i24 News) is mainly focused on the Middle East and France. The U.K. version is about the Middle East. The American version will be about the Middle East and the United States,” Drahi told the AFP.

The businessman, who is the founder and controlling shareholder of Altice, added, “I want i24 News to show both sides: The man who’s in Gaza as much as the man who’s in Tel Aviv. I want the French to hear the opinion of Americans. I want the New Yorkers to hear the opinion of the French and all that will enable people to engage in discussions, have a different vision than the one perpetuated by others (alluding to Al Jazeera America) who have indeed not succeeded.” Altice is expected to staff the American version of i24 News with U.S. and French journalists.

Drahi also said he intended on rolling out a slew of French-language channels, including the group’s French news channel BFMTV, in the U.S.

Another item on Altice’s agenda is to develop and produce original French drama series as part of its strategy to invest in premium content. In February, the company appointed Nora Melhli, formerly head of drama at Shine France and CEO of Endemol Fiction, to spearhead original creation and non-linear content, including Zive, its new SVOD platform.

Altice announced on Tuesday the completion of its $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision and the subsequent formation of Altice USA, the fourth-largest operator in the country, which combines Cablevision and Suddenlink.

Upon unveiling the deal, Drahi said Altice USA was “a key pillar of (the group’s) business and a powerful and dynamic growth platform,” adding that Altice will “accelerate network investments and bring innovative products and services to U.S.”

More TV

  • UTA

    UTA Launches Sports Division, Invests in Klutch Sports Group

    UTA is diving into the sports arena through an investment in Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents LeBron James and other stars. Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul will serve as head of the newly created UTA Sports wing in addition to running his own banner. Paul launched Klutch Sports in 2012 in Cleveland. UTA [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • Ken Ehrlich Jane Ortner Education Award,

    Grammy Awards Producer Shuffle: Ben Winston to Take Over From Ken Ehrlich in 2021

    As Variety reported in December, Ben Winston will take the reins of the Grammy Awards as executive producer in 2021 after longtime telecast leader Ken Ehrlich completes his 40th ceremony next year. Winston has become a prolific producer for CBS and other outlets since he moved to the U.S. nearly five years ago to launch [...]

  • Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky

    Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky Cinema After Management Shuffle

    Sarah Wright, Sky’s top acquisitions exec, will take on responsibility for Sky Cinema after a management shuffle at the pay-TV giant. Wright fills a role vacated by Ian Lewis, who recently left Sky after 20 years. He was one of several Sky staffers to leave after its takeover by Comcast. As director of Sky Cinema [...]

  • Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer

    Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer on Matthew Modine Slate

    Veteran actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA as a member of Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. She is facing Camryn Manheim, who announced her candidacy on July 9 as part of the Unite for Strength slate for the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris. Unite for Strength and United [...]

  • BAFTA Backs BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training for

    BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training Rolls Out to BAFTA Voters, Wider Industry (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British Independent Film Awards is opening up its unconscious-bias training to BAFTA voters and, more widely, to anyone who judges the work of others in the film and TV business in the U.K. With the makeup of award-nominee and -winner lists under close scrutiny, BIFA introduced its unconscious-bias training last year. Its voters, jurors, [...]

  • New U.K. Film and TV Studio

    New U.K. Film and TV Studio Proposed for Leeds, in Northern England

    With studio space in high demand, a sizable new film and TV complex has been proposed for Leeds, the city in northern England that is fast becoming a major U.K. media hub outside of London. It has already been selected as the base for Channel 4’s new national headquarters, and companies such as pay-TV giant [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content