Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC:US), the second-largest U.S. cable provider, agreed to carry Al Jazeera America, bringing the Qatar-based broadcaster to millions of viewers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities.
The channel will be added to basic-cable plans for customers of New York-based Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks over the next six months, according to a statement today. The agreement will make Al Jazeera available to almost 55 million homes.
Al Jazeera America debuted in August, aiming to provide Americans with a cable-news alternative to MSNBC, Fox News and CNN. The network, controlled by the Qatari royal family, paid $500 million for Al Gore’s money-losing Current TV in January and rebranded it. Al Jazeera America markets itself as a source of unbiased reporting on topics such as health-care reform and gun violence.
Time Warner Cable had initially dropped Current after Al Jazeera’s purchase, though it soon began negotiating to bring the channel back to its lineup. The Qatar company also has deals with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US), DirecTV and Dish Network Corp. (DISH:US) for BeIN Sport, a group of channels it owns in France, the U.S. and Canada that have rights to European soccer leagues.
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