Al Jazeera English will soon be available in Canada, following Thursday’s decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to approve the channel for cable and satellite distribution.



OTTAWA, Nov. 26 /CNW/ – Al Jazeera English is pleased to announce that
the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
has included the award-winning international news and current affairs
channel on its digital Lists of Eligible Satellite Services. This
decision will allow Canadian cable and satellite distributors to
include AJE among their channel offerings.

AJE has received indications from several of Canada’s major
distributors that they want to include Al Jazeera English in their
lineup, and is hopeful they will make an early announcement of a launch
date.

The announcement from the CRTC follows a formal application process and
a 30-day consultation notice period during which Canadians were allowed
to submit letters voicing their opinions of AJE. The submission process
demonstrated an overwhelming demand for the channel with 98% of the
submissions, approximately 2,800 letters and emails, being positive.

Tony Burman, the Managing Director of AJE, is the former Editor in
Chief of CBC News. Commenting on the CRTC decision Burman said, “We are
very excited that Canadians will soon have the same opportunities as
people in more than 180 million households in more than 100 countries.
For over three years, Al Jazeera English has been setting new standards
in reporting by providing a platform for the under-represented corners
of the world. Over the last several months I have had the opportunity
to travel throughout Canada and hear firsthand the great demand for our
groundbreaking news and current affairs programming. We look forward to
bringing AJE’s award-winning coverage to the Canadian people.”

Additionally, AJE has pledged to open a bureau in Canada in the near
future, signifying the channel’s commitment to presenting Canadian news
and perspective to a global audience. This will make AJE the only
international news channel with a bureau in Canada.

Since launching in 2006, AJE has become a world leader in the coverage
of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. With
broadcast centres strategically located in Kuala Lumpur, Doha, London
and Washington, DC, and nearly 70 news bureaus around the world, the
channel’s aim is to provide independent and impartial news for a global
audience.

AJE has more than 1000 employees worldwide, representing more than 50
nationalities – including many from Canada – making AJE’s newsrooms the
most diverse in the world.

In its short time on air, Al Jazeera English has been recognized for
its distinguished reporting and programming. In 2008 and 2009, AJE
received nominations for international Emmy awards in both the News and
Current Affairs categories, and in 2009 the channel received a
nomination in the documentary category. Additionally, AJE has received
awards from the Monte-Carlo TV Festival, the Royal Television Society,
Amnesty International and YouTube.

ECG (Ethnic Channels Group) acted as the channel’s sponsor, presenting
the application to the CRTC in February 2009, a legal requirement for
non-Canadian channels to be distributed in Canada. ECG is a Canadian
multi-ethnic broadcaster, which currently offers 12 television channels
to Canadian cable and satellite systems. This was the first application
to the CRTC for carriage of Al Jazeera English.

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, giving
voice to different perspectives from under-reported regions around the
world.

Al Jazeera started out over thirteen years ago as the first independent
Arabic news channel in the world dedicated to providing comprehensive
television news and live debate for the Arab world. Al Jazeera was
formally named the Al Jazeera Network in March 2006, transforming its
operation into an international media corporation – the Al Jazeera
Network now consists of the flagship Al Jazeera Arabic channel, Al
Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Sport, Al
Jazeera.net (the English and Arabic web sites), the Al Jazeera Media
Training and Development Center, the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Al
Jazeera Mubasher (Live), and Al Jazeera Mobile. Visit
www.aljazeera.net/english for more details.

About ECG

Ethnic Channels Group Limited (“ECG”) is a privately held Canadian
company licensed by the Canadian Radio Television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to operate 52 category 2 digital
specialty services to the Canadian market place. ECGL is currently
operating 12 Category 2 (digital specialty services) channels that
deliver 24 hours 7 days a week leading programming from the countries
of origin, serving the following communities: Arabic, Filipino, German,
Greek, Iranian, Israeli, Russian, and Vietnamese. ECGL also provides
broadcasting facilities to third parties from its NCC – Network Control
Center. The Company has built its broadcast infrastructure using the
newest technology with unique network architecture as its backbone.
Delivering services via satellite and/or fiber ECGL is a full service
television production and distribution centre fully equipped with
master control, edit facilities and production studio. For more
information please visit www.ethnicchannels.com

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