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Al Jazeera to broadcast in French, Turkish

Network reports increase in viewers in Australia, UK

Gulf News

Manama: Qatar-based Al Jazeera is planning to broadcast in French, the network’s director general has said.

“We are about to finish the study to launch the French-language channel and we have reached advanced stages,” Shaikh Ahmad Bin Jasem Al Thani said. “The channel will help us build new bridges with other nations and cultures in Europe, Africa, North America and other regions. We will announce later when it will start broadcasting,” he told Qatari daily Al Raya.

The network will also launch new programmes to enhance the main news channel over several stages, starting with the second quarter of this year, he said.

A new studio equipped with the latest technologies will be used.

Shaikh Ahmad said the channel’s status as a global news network has been reinforced and that its channels and websites have achieved record levels.

“We are confident that the rates will get even higher thanks to the new look and the programmes that we will be broadcasting soon,” he said.

He said the viewership in Australia increased from 23 per cent to 85 per cent and that the network was able to move from six hours a day in Britain to 24 hours and to more than 90 per cent of the homes.

The network will launch Al Jazeera UK soon, Shaikh Ahmad said.

Al Jazeera will also be able to reach 42 million homes in the US as prelude to launching Al Jazeera America.

“This would be a great project that will open up new media horizons,” he told the Qatari daily.

A channel in Turkish will also be launched as the network consolidates its outreach, Shaikh Ahmad added.

The channel started broadcasting on November 1, 1996. Ten years later, it launched a channel in English, based in Doha.