altice to launch us cable news channel
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
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Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
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As a global television news operation

Altice to launch US cable news channel

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Egypt Today, egypt today Altice to launch US cable news channel

CEO of the new Israeli-based TV channel "i24 news" Franck Melloul
New York - Arab Today

European-based media and telecom group Altice is launching its i24news channel next week in the United States, underscoring its ambitions as a global television news operation.

The i24news channel is set to debut Monday on Altice-operated cable systems, which are available in 20 US states.

The move expands the footprint of the company led by French-Israeli entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, who created i24news in 2013 in Tel Aviv. The network broadcasts in English, French and Arabic.

The US channel will be in English and draw on content from i24news in other regions, including Israel and France.

Chief executive Frank Melloul said the US launch adds an important element to the creation of a global news operation.

"We are a global news network," he told AFP. "We have our headquarters in Tel Aviv, studios in Paris and we are opening a bureau in New York and a little bureau in Washington."

The move will mean "covering all the international news but with different points of view, from the Middle East, from Europe and America," he added.

It will include "a lot of debates, a lot of talk shows, a lot of interviews, a lot of guests," and provide "an opportunity to show different points of view."

The US channel intially will have four hours of live programming from the New York studios in Times Square, and the remainder from the i24news global network.

The channel debuts only on Altice-owned cable systems, but Melloul said the group was in talks with other cable operators.

The news organization has more than 250 journalists of some 35 different nationalities and is adding around 50 positions for its New York and Washington bureaus. 

The i24news channel is available to "millions of households" on cable or satellite systems in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, according to Altice.

- 'Not Al-Jazeera' -

The launch comes after last year's shutdown of Al-Jazeera America, which failed to gain traction in the US cable news market dominated by CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

The group controlled by Qatar's royal family paid some $500 million to launch the US channel known as AJAM, which shuttered after less than three years in April.

Melloul said i24news will avoid the same fate.

"I don't think we have the same DNA" as Al-Jazeera, he said. 

"I don't think we're doing the same thing. We are not a Middle East channel or an American version of a Middle East channel. We're a global news channel."

Altice announced Thursday its news team will be anchored by David Shuster, a former news host with MSNBC and Al-Jazeera America, and Michelle Makori, formerly of China's CCTV, CNN and Bloomberg TV.

Altice USA became the fourth-largest US cable operator after its purchase last year of Cablevision.

Source: AFP

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