Al Jazeera English, the award-winning 24-hour global news and current affairs channel, has been granted a downlinking license to broadcast in India. The decision, which was made by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), allows cable and satellite companies in India to add Al Jazeera English to their current line-up of channels.
The announcement from the Government follows a formal application process by Al Jazeera English, which was initiated in 2006. Cable and satellite platforms will now be able to begin distributing the channel immediately, and Al Jazeera has already received indication from a number of providers that they will air the channel.
In a release issued, Al Anstey, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, said, “This is an exciting breakthrough that has been in the works for several years, and we are extremely pleased that Al Jazeera English’s groundbreaking news and programming will soon be available in India. We know there is a great demand for our award-winning content. Through our dedicated resources in India, Al Jazeera is already presenting important stories from India to our global audience in more than 100 countries. We are delighted that we now have the opportunity to present viewers in India with Al Jazeera English’s in-depth coverage and rich context of today’s most important global events.”
Al Jazeera English currently has a bureau in New Delhi. Additionally, Al Jazeera’s reporting from India follows the Network’s goals of presenting important stories that are too often overlooked by other mainstream media outlets.
Anmol Saxena, Al Jazeera English’s Bureau Chief in New Delhi, added, “With India’s increasing engagement in world affairs and strong interest in international events, we are certain that Al Jazeera English will have a substantial following throughout the country.”
Diana Hosker, Head of Distribution for the region, said, “We look forward to working closely with distribution platforms to bring the channel to India soon as possible. With the prospect of reaching an estimated 115 million households in India, this important market will be significant as we continue to expand our global reach.”
Launched in 2006, Al Jazeera English has over 65 news bureaus around the world today, the majority of which are located in the Southern hemisphere, the channel’s aim is to provide independent and impartial news for a global audience.
Al Jazeera English has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, representing more than 50 nationalities. The channel is currently available in more than 100 countries, reaching more than 220 million households around the world, a number that will continue to grow as the channel expands throughout India.