Wadah Khanfar, the director-general of Al Jazeera network, said on the eve of the first broadcast: "Our launch figure is over double the original target we set for ourselves."
"This is unprecedented in the broadcasting industry - no other international news channel has launched with such a high number of homes across the world.
"This is unprecedented in the broadcasting industry"
Wadah Khanfar, director-general, Al Jazeera network
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"We will continue to build on this figure after launch and will be looking to expand our reach significantly. This is another reflection of the strength of Al Jazeera brand."
In addition to cable and satellite, it will be available on broadband, IPTV, ADSL, terrestrial and mobile phone platforms.