I Want My AJE? A for Optimism. F for Market Research.


NPR’s David Folkenflik recently talked to Al-Jezeera English Managing Director Tony Burman about the group’s struggles in the U.S. and a new campaign “iwantaje.com.”

The promo is aimed at building brand awareness for the 24-hour English-language satellite news channel. So far, AJE has failed to capture the attention of viewers and therefore garnered little interest from cable and satellite TV providers since their launch (two years ago).

Burman says the major obstacles in winning over American audiences include:

political stigma that’s been attached to Al-Jazeera Arabic, and a kind of assumption on the part of some people that what they’ve heard about Al-Jazeera Arabic (a) is true and (b) applies to Al-Jazeera English.

Comcast weighed in, saying:

Our customers consistently tell us they want more movies, sports, music and TV show choices.

But meant:

Are you kidding? You expect our customers – that didn’t “get” Arrested Development to tune into your 24hr English-speaking Arabic news channel?

Riddle Me This:

What market research green-lighted AJE’s U.S. expansion in the first place?

Let’s see, they’ve got “The Hills”, “The Bachelor” and “Dancing with the Stars.” And of course, “Flavor, Rock and Two Shots at/of Love.”Yep…Americans are going to love Al-Jezeera English.

Sorry guys – A for Effort.