After months of negotiations, Time Warner Cable has agreed to carry Al Jazeera America. With the deal, the Qatar-owned network will be available in almost 55 million homes, including the two biggest markets, New York and Los Angeles, by the end of the year and reaching other Time Warner Cable markets by March.
“We said in January that we would consider Al Jazeera America. Now that the channel is live, we think that it would be of value to our customers and are pleased to make it available,” Melinda Witmer, executive vice president, chief video and content officer for Time Warner Cable said in a statement.
The news was first reported by the New York Times’ Brian Stelter, who talks to Al Jazeera America’s interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi about the deal:
Mr. Al Shihabi said Al Jazeera, which features American and international news, was in “active negotiations” with other cable and satellite distributors. He said Time Warner Cable’s decision was evidence that “we are providing fact-based, in-depth, independent news.”
Al Jazeera America, like other channel owners, has sought an unspecified per-subscriber fee to be carried. But distributors are generally reluctant to add to their crowded lineups, so channels have occasionally paid to be carried. In this case, Al Jazeera may pay Time Warner Cable for marketing and advertising sales support.
Mr. Al Shihabi declined to say whether Al Jazeera had paid, but called the distribution deal a “win-win proposition.”