Based on the success experienced by KCET since the former PBS affiliate began broadcasting Al Jazeera English content February 1st, it would seem as if the Middle Eastern newscaster’s difficulty in finding other U.S. broacast partners could soon be over.
According to Elizabeth Jensen of New York Times‘ “Media Decoder” column, the station has reaped tremendous ratings rewards from the move. Al Jazeera newscasts are shown four times a day on KCET weekdays, and once a day weekends:
In its main weekday slot at 4 p.m., ratings jumped 135 percent from February through May, the station said, and over all, the newscasts are drawing more than 285,000 viewers each week.
Within the three-hour block of international newscasts that KCET broadcasts from 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays, the two Al Jazeera segments far outpace broadcasts from Japan’s NHK and the Israel Broadcasting Authority, but trail the long-established BBC World News.
KCET started out with Al Jazeera on its digital sub-channel only, but to its credit moved the content to the larger bandwidth once the historic events in Egypt began to unfold.