Does Cable TV Need Another News Channel?

By A.J. Katz 

In case there aren’t enough cable news networks here in the U.S., global telecom giant Altice is now launching a U.S. version of its 24/7 global news network i24 News.

Beginning February 13, i24 News will be carried on Cablevision and Suddenlink systems, which are owned by Altice USA. As America’s 4th-largest cable operator, Altice has about 4.6 million customers across 20 states. The new channel has yet to find any additional distribution partners which could hamper its success.

i24 News is based in Tel Aviv and serves audiences throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It plans to hire about 50 people in the U.S. for offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

“What began as a dream of our founder to create a source for news where debate and multiple perspectives were welcome, has become i24 News – a well-respected, differentiated global news organization with a track record of journalistic excellence around the world,” said Dexter Goei, CEO of Altice USA. “Content is core to Altice’s global strategy, and this is an exciting step as we bring i24 News to the U.S. and provide refreshing, balanced content that will offer a new perspective on domestic and international news that consumers cannot watch anywhere else.”

“I look forward to shaping i24 News to become the go-to-source for news and current events analysis on the issues of most importance to U.S. viewers, and am honored to provide a new model for showcasing how U.S., Middle East and international news can come together every day,” said Frank Melloul, CEO of i24 News.

The question is: Does the U.S. really need another national cable news channel? We already have CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and HLN. There is also One America News and NewsmaxTV. This move by Altice to expand across its global 24/7 news channel across Atlantic is a bold one.

Al Jazeera, also based in the Middle East, attempted to branch out into the U.S. market in 2013 with Al Jazeera America. The channel disbanded in April 2016 after just 2 years and 8 months on the air.