The August 20 premiere of Al Jazeera America will give an estimated 50 million American homes access to a brand-new news channel — and cut off many more from Al Jazeera English's Internet livestream.
An Al Jazeera America spokesperson confirmed on Friday that the outlet will discontinue its livestream of Al Jazeera English to American online audiences, reportedly due to cable provider-imposed restrictions.
The move makes sense — Al Jazeera no longer needs to rely on the livestream as the only way Americans can access its content — but also means that the many whose cable providers don't carry Al Jazeera America won't be able to view Al Jazeera at all.
It's not an insignificant number of Americans who watch Al Jazeera English, either. According to Pew Research Center, 40 percent of its website traffic comes from this country.
On the plus side, people who want their Al Jazeera back may pressure their cable providers to carry the new channel. Al Jazeera America will be carried in approximately half of the homes that rival networks CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are.
Mondoweiss was the first to report this story.