The TV channel, Al Jazeera English launches worldwide.
Al Jazeera English is a Qatari pay television news channel owned and operated by Al Jazeera Media Network, headquartered in Doha, Qatar. It is the first English-language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. Instead of being run centrally, news management rotates between broadcasting centers in Doha and London.
The channel was launched on 15 November 2006 at 12:00 GMT. It had aimed to begin broadcasting in June 2006 but had to postpone its launch because its HDTV technology was not ready. The channel was due to be called Al Jazeera International, but the name was changed nine months before the launch because “one of the Qatar-based channel’s backers decided that the broadcaster already had an international scope with its original Arabic outlet”.
The channel had expected to reach around 40 million households, but it far exceeded that launch target, reaching 80 million homes. As of 2009, Al Jazeera’s English-language service can be viewed in every major European market and is available to 130 million homes in over 100 countries via cable and satellite, according to Molly Conroy, a spokeswoman for the network in Washington.
The channel is noted for its poor penetration in the American market, where it was carried by only one satellite service and a small number of cable networks. Al Jazeera English later began a campaign to enter the North American market, including a dedicated website. It became available to some cable subscribers in New York in August 2011, having previously been available as an option for some viewers in Washington, D.C., Ohio and Los Angeles. The channel primarily reaches the United States via its live online streaming. It is readily available on most major Canadian television providers including Rogers and Bell TV after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the channel for distribution in Canada on 26 November 2009.
Al Jazeera English and Iran’s state-run Press TV were the only international English-language television broadcasters with journalists reporting from inside both Gaza and Israel during the 2008–2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. Foreign press access to Gaza has been limited via either Egypt or Israel. However, Al Jazeera’s reporters Ayman Mohyeldin and Sherine Tadros were already inside Gaza when the conflict began and the network’s coverage was often compared to CNN’s initial coverage from inside Baghdad in the early days of the 1991 Gulf War.
The channel may also be viewed online. It recommends online viewing at its own website or at its channel on YouTube. Al Jazeera English HD launched in the United Kingdom on Freeview on 26 November 2013, and began streaming in HD on YouTube in 2015.