Al Jazeera expands UK viewer access

International news channel launches on Freeview, reaching 80 per cent of UK homes.

Al Jazeera English will begin broadcasting on the Freeview distribution platform in the UK, expanding the channel’s reach into more than 80 per cent of homes in the country.

From Thursday, the international broadcaster will be live on Freeview channel 89, from 6pm (17GMT) to 11pm (22GMT) daily.

Al Jazeera English, based in Doha, Qatar, already has distribution in more than 200 million homes worldwide, and is available on Sky’s TV service as well as Freesat.

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Discussing the Freeview launch, Wadah Khanfar, director general of the Al Jazeera Network, said he was “extremely pleased that Al Jazeera English … will be available to more than 80 per cent of UK homes”.

“Providing content to the widest possible audience, free of charge, is part of Al Jazeera’s ongoing mandate and mission,” he said.

“With a large network of bureaus, and with unique access to under reported regions across the world, Al Jazeera English will bring a much needed international perspective to this important and diverse region.”

Ilse Howling, the managing director of Freeview, welcomed the broadcaster’s addition to his company’s services.

“The addition of Al Jazeera English brings a new global perspective to our existing news channel line-up, bringing Freeview viewers even more subscription-free news content,” he said.

The 24-hour news channel, which launched in 2006, has a broadcast centre in London, where it produces daily news and current affairs programming.

Shows based in the UK include “Frost Over the World”, a weekly interview show hosted by Sir David Frost, “The Rageh Omaar Report”, which focuses on in-depth coverage of stories neglected by Western media, “People and Power“, an investigative programme which looks at the abuse of power across the world, “Witness”, a documentary series which highlights human stories, and “Listening Post”, an interactive show which provides insight and discussion on the global news divide.

Source: Al Jazeera

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