Bloomberg reports that Al Jazeera sealed the deal by purchasing Al Gore’s Current TV by paying $500M. Gore and his partners originally paid about $71 million back in 2004 for the channel that became Current TV.
Gore, who was chariman, and Joel Hyatt, co-founder and CEO announced the sale on Wednesday without going into details. Qatar-based Al Jazeera is an international news channel with over sixty bureaus around the world that span six different continents.
Since being established in 2006, it has continued to grow in reach and popularity due to its global coverage, especially from underreported regions.
The channel currently broadcasts to over 250 million households across 130 countries.
Al Jazeera access to the biggest U.S. pay-TV carriers but Current’s viewership needs to increase significantly. Current averaged about 42,000 nightly primetime viewers last quarter, according to Horizon Media Inc. SNL Kagan cable analyst Derek Baine said the $500M price “sounds high”. Current TV’s owners had raised a total of $153 million including debt, according to NY-based research firm PrivCo.