The 24-hour news network Al Jazeera English launched in New York on Monday, becoming available to some of the state's cable television subscribers for the first time.
The launch was made possible via a subletting arrangement with Regional News Network (RNN), a company that owns three stations broadcasting to the New York metropolitan area.
The agreement means that the area's two million subscribers to Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS will be able to add Al Jazeera English to their selection of news channels.
As well as being made available on cable, some Al Jazeera programming will also be broadcast as part of the afternoon line-up on RNN's WRNN station.
Al Anstey, the managing director of Al Jazeera English, said that the network and its associated website had become a popular source of news in New York and the United States, despite the lack of cable providers willing to offer the channel as part of their line-ups.
"This launch has been fueled by viewer demand. We are already part of the media landscape here, with one in ten people having got information on events in America and the world from our website this year alone," Anstey said.
"We get more web traffic from New York than any other city on earth. Half a million New Yorkers are classed as regular visitors."
Al Jazeera English and the Arabic-language Al Jazeera have become popular and influential voices during this year's uprisings in the Middle East, leading to sharp rises in online traffic and bolstering demands for Al Jazeera English to be made available throughout the United States in particular.
This week's launch is a small but significant step in Al Jazeera English's ongoing efforts to gain carriage on American cable systems. The network has faced an uphill battle to gain legitimacy among providers, mainly due to negative portrayals of its Arabic-language sister channel.
Prior to the New York launch, Al Jazeera English was available to some cable subscribers in Washington DC, Los Angeles and Ohio via subletting agreements similar to the deal made with RNN.
In Australia, the regional subscription television provider Austar includes Al Jazeera English in its standard package of channels, but its metropolitan counterpart Foxtel has claimed that there is insufficient consumer demand to justify adding the channel.
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