January 3, 2013

Time Warner blacks out Al Jazeera

CNN - Pioneering Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera has acquired Current TV, and will use the network's wider distribution avenues to launch a new U.S.-based channel.

The takeover will provide Al Jazeera with access to millions of U.S. households, a lucrative market the Qatar-based broadcaster has long coveted. The deal also means the end of Current, the low-rated channel co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

Al Jazeera said it will shutter Current and create a New York-based network. Al Jazeera, which is financed by the government of Qatar, said it plans to expand its presence in the U.S., opening new bureaus and doubling its staff to 300 employees...

But if Current was acquired to provide access to more households, there were signs of trouble on that front Wednesday, as Time Warner Cable immediately moved to drop Current following the takeover announcement. "Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service," the cable provider said in a statement.

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