I24 News Plans $50m Launch in the U.S.

Backed by French entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, the Israel-based news channel to set up shop in U.S. with 50 new staffers.

Nati Toker
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i24 News desk in Tel Aviv-Jaffa
i24 News desk in Tel Aviv-JaffaCredit: Ilan Assayag
Nati Toker

i24 news, the Israel-based news channel backed by French entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, will being broadcasting in the United States February 13 in a $50 million expansion drive.

The broadcaster has opened offices on Manhattan’s Times Square and a second office in Washington D.C. Launched in 2013, i24 is based at Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv and broadcasts 24 hours daily in English, Arabic and French with a pro-Israel slant.

“In a society where everything has global implications – from politics and healthcare to education and security – i24News in the U.S. will provide a new voice as it melds different points of view with everyday developments,” said CEO Frank Melloul in a statement.

The broadcaster takes advertising but is subsidized by Drahi, who controls the multinational telecoms company Altice NV, with several million dollars a year. It employs about 250 journalists, and in the U.S., i24 will be taking on 50 new staffers.