Altice Aims to Carve Out Niche in Cable With Global-Themed i24News

Variety | 2/21/2019 | Cynthia Littleton
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Who would invest in the U.S. launch of a linear, 24/7 cable news network in the current climate of bloodletting for niche cable channels?

Patrick Drahi, the French-Israeli media mogul who controls Altice USA and Altice Europe, that’s who.

System - Operator - Altice - USA - Cable

Multiple system operator Altice USA is slowly but steadily expanding the cable distribution base for i24News, the Tel Aviv-headquartered news channel that debuted in Israel and other markets in July 2013. The channel focuses on news from and related to the Middle East.

Altice USA, which owns the former Cablevision systems in the New York area, has used its market clout to gain distribution for i24News on Comcast and Charter Communications, the nation’s two largest cable operators. At the same time, Altice USA has increased its investment in the News 12 regional channels that serve Long Island and other markets covered by Altice’s Optimum cable systems.

Drahi - Worth - Forbes - I24News - Source

Drahi, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $7.8 billion, sees i24News as a vital independent source of information for viewers in the Middle East, and a market opportunity in the U.S. for those who seek out international news. Altice doesn’t expect to beat Fox News or CNN in the ratings anytime soon, but it does see an opening for a news organization with major resources in a region that is so central to global geopolitical issues.

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Network - Middle - East - Connects - World

“We are the [network] where the Middle East connects to the world, and we connect the world to the Middle East,” says Frank Melloul, founder and CEO of i24News.

The channel offers a mix of traditional newscasts and breaking news coverage as well as newsmagazine-style programs, roundtable analysis of current events and talk shows. It broadcasts separate feeds in three languages: Arabic, French and English; the English-language service bowed in the U.S. in early...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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