Editor’s Note & Update: Glenn Beck, founder of The Blaze, said the following this week to clarify potential interest in buying Al Jazeera America: “Not one dime will ever go to pay a state that harbors and infects the rest of the world with twisted ideology that leads to terror — not a dime.”
It didn’t take long, after the announcement that the Qatari government-owned cable network Al Jazeera America would be shutting down at the end of April, for some conservative cable networks to signal that they might be interested in taking over the propaganda network’s cable distribution.
The three networks—Newsmax, One America News and The Blaze—have signaled an interest in making a deal in the hope of improving the distribution of their programming.
But as Al Jazeera learned when they took over Al Gore’s Current TV network, transferring the distribution agreements is extremely difficult.
Time Warner Cable dropped Al Jazeera after the Current TV sale, citing a change in ownership clause, later striking a new carriage deal with the network.
What Al Jazeera has, but Newsmax and the others lack, is distribution with the country’s two biggest cable systems—Time Warner Cable and Comcast—which will be tough to accomplish.
In addition to the distribution agreements, Al Jazeera also occupies a coveted slot on the dial in New York City, in the same neighborhood as CNN and Fox News, which would make it more likely to attract news junkies.
The problem for Al Jazeera is that without any guarantee of the distribution agreements—which places the network in 60 million homes—there is little value in the network and it may instead just shutter the network rather than attempt a sale.
If Newsmax, One America News and The Blaze haven’t been able to strike distribution agreements with Time Warner Cable and Comcast to date, there is little likelihood that they will be able to do so by buying up what’s left of Al Jazeera America.
Photo by jdlasica