The Strategist

Al Jazeera Leaves the US

01/14/2016 - 14:42

Yesterday, the US subsidiary of the Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera - Al Jazeera America - announced its intention to stop broadcasting because of difficult business conditions in the US media sphere. The channel will stop operating in April this year. The company plans to focus on digital services.

al jazeera
al jazeera
On Wednesday, the television channel Al Jazeera America announced its closure: it will stop broadcasting in April. "Our business model is not sustainable in the light of economic problems in the US media market", - said head of Al Jazeera America Al Anstey. The company also said that instead of cable TV, it is going to expand international digital services operating, as consumers are increasingly moving away from conventional media resources and proceeds to read news on their mobile devices. The company should announce in expansion of digital services in the US in the coming months. Charles Herring, owner of One America News Network, has already expressed interest in buying Al Jazeera America’s slot on the cable television.

Al Jazeera America - the US subsidiary of the Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera - was launched in 2013. Then, Al Jazeera acquired for $ 500 million a US cable network Current TV, founded by former US Vice President Al Gore. Now the channel is available in 61 million American households. However, Al Jazeera America failed to attract attention of a large audience: according to company Nielsen, the media’s audience was from 20 th. tTo 30 th. people in prime time. According to research firm SNL Kagan, in 2015, Al Jazeera America earned $ 110 million, while reported a net loss of $ 72 million.

In May last year, Al Jazeera America was aboil with a scandal, which resulted in resignation of Vice President of Corporate Communications Channel Marcy McGinnis and several top managers. The scandal broke out because a former employee of Al Jazeera America filed a lawsuit in the US court, accusing the broadcaster of sexism, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. According to the journalist, one of the TV channels in Arabic, belonging to Al Jazeera group and broadcasting mainly in Egypt, was a "not too carefully veiled" propaganda agency of the movement "Muslim Brotherhood."