Can Al Jazeera Tap Into the U.S. Market?

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Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Edmund Lee and Jon Erlichman reports on Al Jazeera America, a new cable-news channel that begins airing today. They speak on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

Generally have bureaus.

Can this middle eastern media giant tap into the american market?

Joining me with me more is our senior west coast correspondent.

What exactly does al jazeera want to do here that is different?

The value proposition is they are trying to put themselves as something different than fox news or msnbc.

That is what cnn is doing, down the road, down the middle.

I telling to everyday americans who know what is going on in the country.

Whether the audience comes and stays as a matter of debate.

What do they have to do to distinguish themselves from cnn?

If you remember, when cnn first launched, it is a quirky experiment in everyday news.

It wasn't until the first gulf war that they made a name for themselves.

They were the only ones with a live camera feeds.

That was a huge moment for them and it put them on the map.

With fox news, after september 11, a lot of people in the country had more conservative viewpoints and that spoke to them.

They need something to mark their arrival in some form or another.

How do you see the competitive landscape here?

Where does al jazeera fit in?

It is always great to see a cable channel more focused on interesting and innovative new stories, but this is a channel that will be competing with a lot of startups that are focusing not necessarily on cable television.

You think of buzz feed and stories being broken and share through social media.

To ed's point, they will gain some traction if there is a story they can call their own and if they can find an audience all over the place through social media to tie the traffic altogether.

You would think there could be a younger audience that is interested in what al jazeera has to say but they will have to have a strong social media resins to be heard in a world where we are talking about people who don't necessarily want to pay for cable anymore.

The family that has put up the money to make this happen is from kutcher.

You would imagine that there will be some sort of angle toward the middle east.

What are you sensing from people in the business you have talked to?

I think they are chasing good stories and want good stories that don't necessarily get hurt every day on any other news broadcast.

They are obviously in this business.

I think the idea that they will have less advertising so they can deliver more news could be appealing to the viewer.

We are not talking about the ability to charge the same cable fees of some of the other players out there and talk -- and fox news is that the top of that list.

One it comes to making money you don't know if story choices will be dependent on what they are finding that works best.

Sometimes that happens in the world of cable.

You see what works and chart your course from there.

What to they want here?

Are they trying to launch al jazeera as a brand in this country so it can resonate or is it because cable news is a good business to be in right now?

It is the latter.

Tv business is good business.

Do is point, it is a much harder with young people not wanting to pay for cable in the first place.

One of the things they have to do is what kind of programming are you going to do?

Cannot wait for the new cycle to pick up.

That has been cnn's problem.

When there is big news event, people go way.

They need to create programs and have regular programs throughout the day that people can count on and go back to.

What do analysts say?

Will they get the money here from advertisers?

If the audience is there, they will be there.

At the same time, it is unproven and untested.

We don't know if people will stay to watch another news network.

They're trying to make money, right?

Obviously there is still a problem.

Have you heard about any flows one way or the other with regards to al jazeera and whether any other cable providers are having a problem?

Mike's time warner cable has not picked them up.

Just yesterday we found out that at&t customers will not be getting al jazeera either.

The sources say it is a dispute.

Fees, not politics.

That is the current line.

If you're going to draw customers it is good for everyone ultimately but it has not been tested or proven yet.

Jon erlichman, what do you hear?

Take the other extreme.

Even with advertisers there , in their case with as big a brand . if they're going to pay similar fees, it is a long road if you are the biggest player and have a lot of money.

Good point and a good conversation.

Thank you.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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