Al Jazeera buys Current TV
Louise Duffy | 03-01-2013

Arab television network Al Jazeera has bought Current TV, the US cable channel founded by Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt.

According to Reuters, the terms of the deal were undisclosed, but analysts estimated it could be worth as much as $500 million (310 million).

Al Jazeera said it would start a new US-based news channel with the acquisition, which will make it available in more than 40 million US households, up from 4.7 million prior to the deal.

Current TV was founded in 2005, but battled consistently low ratings. The new channel will go live in 2013 and will be based in New York City.

Al Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said: "By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the US, as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America.

"We look forward to working together with our new cable and satellite partners to serve our new audiences across the US."

Gore and Hyatt added: "We are proud and pleased that Al Jazeera, the award-winning international news organisation, has bought Current TV.

"Since its founding in 2005, Current has grown into a national network available in nearly 60 million homes, offering thought-provoking commentary and Emmy and Peabody award-winning programming. Current Media was built based on a few key goals: to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling. Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us."