September 24, 2008 (Washington DC): Al Jazeera English is pleased to announce that the International Emmy-nominated programme Witness will appear weekly in the United States on Link TV, the first nationwide television channel dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture.
The deal will make Al Jazeera English’s Witness available in over 30 million US households via cable and satellite, including popular satellite providers DIRECTV and Dish Network.
Hosted by Rageh Omaar, Witness is a half-hour documentary programme that brings world issues into focus through courageous, human stories and provocative debate. Each documentary reveals the unknown lives of ordinary people, telling their stories and portraying the challenges that confront them.
Recent episodes include: the story of a man using an unusual approach to help some of the world’s poorest people in Africa; the tale of an Iraqi struggling to become a pop sensation; and how farmers in many of Spain’s villages have found a unique way to meet their future spouses.
“We are pleased to present one of Al Jazeera English’s signature programmes to a United States audience through Link TV,” said Kimeran Daley, the head of North American distribution sales for Al Jazeera Network. “Link TV’s commitment to showing international news and thought-provoking programming makes them an ideal partner for Al Jazeera English in America.”
Link TV broadcasts award-winning programmes with the goal of engaging, educating and activating viewers to become involved in the world. The channel currently reaches 36 million households in the US on cable and satellite.
“Witness will be a positive addition to our current line-up of critically acclaimed programmes,” added Lorraine Hess, the vice president of acquisitions for Link TV. “At Link TV we believe in airing programmes that provide a unique perspective on international news, current events and cultures while presenting issues that are not often covered in the US media.”
The announcement comes during a particularly successful period for Al Jazeera English, which launched in November 2006, and was recently awarded ‘Best 24 Hour News Programme’ at the 48th Annual Monte Carlo Television Festival. The channel also recently received its first two International Emmy nominations in both news and current affairs, for its groundbreaking news coverage of the public uprising and subsequent military crackdown in Myanmar and for a Witness programme about the Red Mosque in Pakistan.
Witness will air weekly on Mondays starting October 6, 2008, at 11PM Eastern/8PM Pacific immediately after the Peabody award-winning original programme Mosaic. Witness will also repeat on Wednesdays at 7PM Eastern/4PM Pacific. It will be available on DIRECTV Channel 375 and DISH Channel 9410, as well as on select cable channels in local markets.
For more information visit: www.linktv.org/witness
### ENDS ###
For media inquiries please contact:
Marc Smrikarov or Molly Conroy
For distribution and commercial inquiries please contact:
About Rageh Omaar:
Before joining the Witness team at Al Jazeera English Rageh Omaar worked for the BBC as developing world correspondent and, most recently, as Africa correspondent. Rageh has covered stories ranging from drought in Ethiopia to devastating floods in Mozambique. His reports during the 2003 Iraq war made him a household name.
Rageh began his journalistic career as a trainee at The Voice newspaper in Brixton and worked for a short time on the magazine City Limits before moving to Ethiopia in 1991 where he was a freelance reporter for the BBC World Service.
More recently, he wrote the autobiographical work Only Half of Me: Being a Muslim in Britain and told the human story of the battle for Iraq in his book Revolution Day.
About Al Jazeera English:
Al Jazeera English is the first English language world news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. Launched in November 2006, Al Jazeera English is setting the global news agenda and acts as a bridge between cultures. With unique access as the channel of reference for Middle East events, and broadcast centres strategically placed around the world in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, Al Jazeera English is balancing the information flow from South to North, providing independent and impartial news for a global audience from a grassroots level, giving voice to different perspectives from under-reported regions around the world.
Al Jazeera English is available in over 100 countries and in over 120 million households worldwide, and was recently awarded ‘Best 24 Hour News Programme’ at the 48th Annual Monte Carlo Television Festival. The channel also recently received its first two International Emmy nominations in both news and current affairs, for its groundbreaking coverage of the military crackdown in Myanmar and for its Red Mosque coverage.
In the US, Al Jazeera English is currently available on Buckeye Cable in Ohio, Burlington Telecom in Vermont, Washington Cable in DC and nationally via satellite provider Globecast WorldTV. Al Jazeera English’s dedicated channel on YouTube is the website’s most watched international news channel, with 21 million videos viewed since its launch in April 2007.
The Arabic language Al Jazeera Satellite Channel is well known for changing the face of news in the Middle East, bringing independent and free speaking current affairs television to the region for the first time.
Visit www.aljazeera.net/english for more details.
About Link TV
Link TV is the United States’ largest independent broadcaster, devoted to providing diverse global perspectives on news, current events and world culture not typically available on other US networks.
Link TV regularly airs a robust selection of award-winning films and documentaries that explore the human condition from different multi-cultural perspectives. Link supports the essential cultural role of world cinema by helping Americans better understand what is happening in the world.
A pioneer in news and current affairs programming, Link TV has been recognised domestically and internationally for its original news programmes including the Peabody Award-winning daily broadcast Mosaic: News from the Middle East.
Most of Link’s programmes are available nowhere else on American television.
Link TV is a nationwide television network available in more than 35 million US homes as a basic service on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410. Select programmes are shown on cable systems in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Link TV’s original programmes, music videos, documentary clips and artist interviews are streamed on the Internet at LinkTV.org. The channel has garnered the support of Bill Cosby, Dave Matthews, Cher, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and others.
For complete background information, programme schedule, and internet streaming, go to LinkTV.org.
GET MORE FROM THE AL JAZEERA PRESS OFFICE
Al Jazeera’s Press Office is open for enquiries from members of the press and media. Journalists can contact us at the following address:
The Press Office, Al Jazeera, PO Box 23127, Doha, Qatar
The Al Jazeera Press Office Inbox is regularly checked during office hours and inquiries will be answered as quickly as possible