Qatar's Al-Jazeera Enters U.S. Market With Purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV

Time Warner Cable terminates contract to carry Current TV; Gore to stay on advisory board.

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Al-Jazeera news network purchased the U.S. cable outlet Current TV founded by former Vice President Al Gore, and intends to start a U.S.-based news channel.

Al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, announced the purchase on Wednesday. The price paid was not disclosed, but it is estimated to be up to $500 million.

Time Warner Cable, which reaches about 12 million homes in the United States, said later in the day that it was terminating its contract to carry Current TV.

Current also is distributed by Comcast Corp. and DirecTV, with 22.4 million and 19.8 million subscribers, respectively, according to Reuters.

Gore, the channel’s chairman, and co-founder Joel Hyatt, the chief executive officer, will remain on the advisory board, Reuters reported.

The new Al-Jazeera channel will begin airing this year and is expected to double its staff in New York to 300. The channel is planned to be separate from Al Jazeera English, which airs around the world, and will present domestic and international news geared toward an American audience.

Former U.S. Vice President and Current TV Chairman and co-founder Al Gore speaks during a panel for Current TV's 'Politically Direct' in Pasadena, California, January 13, 2012.Credit: Reuters
People walk by the Current TV offices on January 3, 2013 in San Francisco, California.Credit: AFP

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