Al Jazeera purchasing the Current TV cable news platform from former Vice President Al Gore had the world talking, but now to keep cable operators happy, the Qatar-based international news organization is going to have to make some difficult changes ahead–namely its presence of streaming options available on the web.
The Qatar-government owned operation will have to stop streaming its English feed online in roughly 90 days–about when it plans to replace Current TV’s programming with Al Jazeera English. The news channel will have some differences from the one North American viewers have become accustomed to as it found its home online.
The new network will be called Al Jazeera America, and it will combine programming from their existing English language production with new material that is meant more for the 24 hour cable TV audience. The updated channel will not be streamed online, which could turn the company’s English website into a more companion site featuring breaking news articles and video highlights.
The decision to remove the live feed from their website is to appease both cable and satellite operators–companies that want viewers watching live TV through their services and not through a website. Since operators pay content providers for their programming, it would defeat the purpose for that same content to appear for free online.
“We’d love to be able to do both” cable and Internet distribution, “but the deals with distributors prevent it,” an Al Jazeera spokesman said. “The economics are better on cable.” Despite how you may feel about Al Jazeera making its North American debut, they will certainly be making some big waves in the 24 hour news market in 2013.