Al Jazeera to continue with expansion plans
Following Al Jazeera network’s recent buyout of Current TV, that gave it access to the United States (US) markets, director general of Al Jazeera, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, has revealed that the cable network is preparing to launch a United Kingdom (UK) branded news channel, and that studies for a French language channel were also at an advanced stage.
The Al Jazeera UK channel will begin as a five-hour primetime cut into the regular Al Jazeera network that runs 24 hours and has access to more than 90 percent of homes in the UK, according to Sheikh Jassim Al Thani.
Speaking to local media, he noted that the news channels would, “help us build bridges with other nations and cultures in Europe, Africa, North America and other regions.” These announcements are the latest in Al Jazeera’s attempt to break into new markets. In 2011, the network opened Al Jazeera Balkan in Sarajevo, and there is also the possibility of a Turkish version of the channel.
The organisation also recently brought out a new look for its Arabic channel studios, the biggest makeover it has had since 2004. Sheikh Jassim Al Thani added, “The Al Jazeera screen is part of people’s homes, so we’ve exerted a great deal of effort to modernise our presentation and look. We have employed the best and latest technology to maximise the production value. Al Jazeera has distinguished itself through outstanding news coverage and reports. Today, it adds more to its account through the new look.”
There are also plans for the network to introduce new programming to the channel.