Jan. 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM ET
Arab television network Al-Jazeera said on Wednesday it will buy Current TV, the cable channel founded by Al Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt in 2005, for undisclosed terms.
The acquisition could give Al-Jazeera access to a broader range of U.S. television viewers. Although its programming is available in some large metropolitan areas, the network's executives have long been frustrated in their efforts to secure carriage deals with TV distributors.
Current TV, which has battled low viewership, is available in 60 million U.S. homes.
"We are proud and pleased that Al Jazeera, the award-winning international news organization, has bought Current TV," said Gore and Hyatt in a statement sent to NBC News. "Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling. Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us."
News of the deal was earlier reported by The New York Times.
“They really want to be able to compete for American viewers, and they have to find some way to get on,” Philip Seib, the director of the center on public diplomacy at the University of Southern California and the author of “The Al Jazeera Effect,” told The New York Times.
Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was included in this report.