Al Jazeera English (AJE) will begin broadcasting on the Freeview DTT platform tomorrow (July 1). In doing so, it will become available to 80% of homes in the UK.
AJE made its debut in November 2006 and has from the onset been available on Sky in the UK. It has also been offered by Freesat since 2008 though is not as yet distributed by Virgin Media. AJE will air live from 18.00 to 23.00 local time each day on Freeview, providing live news and programmes from AJE’s studios in London, Washington DC and Doha.
Speaking exclusively to Broadband TV News, Al Anstey, Al Jazeera Network’s director of media development, said that the sheer scale of Freeview’s reach makes AJE’s launch on the platform exciting. He added that it has also “healthy distribution across Europe” and is building on its presence in the US.
Al Jazeera’s strategy is very much one of “wanting to be available everywhere” and to this effect it is placing considerable emphasis on new media.
It is, for instance, now present on all handheld devices. On the iPhone, where it began live streaming in March, it achieved 297,000 sessions in the first month alone.