After buying Current TV in early 2013, and debuting over the summer that year, Al Jazeera has lost almost half of Current TV’s audience.
Current TV’s run with progressive news programming lasted from December, 2011 to August, 2013. In that timespan, the network ran programs like “The Young Turks,” “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm,” “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer,” and “Joy Behar: Say Anything.” Upon being bought by Al Jazeera, Current was in 60 million American homes.
Al Jazeera America was born as the opposite of Current TV, possessing no political point of view and no opinion program in favor of hard news and in-depth reporting. It hired veteran news anchors and reporters from previous networks, including former NBC News anchor John Seigenthaler; former CNN anchors Tony Harris and Ali Velshi; former CNN correspondent Joie Chen; former MSNBC anchor David Shuster; former NBC News White House Correspondent Mike Viqueira, former PBS journalist Ray Suarez, and several other veteran TV news personalities.
Its lineup of journalists hasn’t translated to ratings. When comparing Al Jazeera America’s ratings to date to Current TV’s ratings from December, 2011 to August, 2013, the numbers show significant losses. In total day, AJAM is down 44 percent compared to Current TV; in the 25-54 demo, the channel is down 55 percent. In primetime viewers, AJAM is down 49 percent compared to Current TV; in the primetime demo, down 54 percent.
In its 14 months on-air, AJAM is averaging 14,000 viewers 5,000 demo viewers for total day. In primetime, its averaging 18,000 viewers and 6,000 demo viewers.
The network is currently distributed in 60 million homes, seen on providers like DIRECTV, Comcast/ XFINITY, Time Warner Cable, DISH, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, and Bright House Networks.
We reached out to Al Jazeera America for this story, but did not receive a response. Previously, network president Kate O’Brien has expressed confidence that ratings will come as more people sample the network.