Al Jazeera English has announced that the International Emmy-nominated programme Witness will appear weekly in the United States on Link TV, the first nationwide television channel dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture.
The deal will make Al Jazeera English’s Witness available in over 30 million US households via cable and satellite, including popular satellite providers DIRECTV and Dish Network.
Hosted by Rageh Omaar, Witness is a half-hour documentary programme that brings world issues into focus through courageous, human stories and provocative debate. Each documentary reveals the unknown lives of ordinary people, telling their stories and portraying the challenges that confront them.
Recent episodes include: the story of a man using an unusual approach to help some of the world’s poorest people in Africa; the tale of an Iraqi struggling to become a pop sensation; and how farmers in many of Spain’s villages have found a unique way to meet their future spouses.
“We are pleased to present one of Al Jazeera English’s signature programmes to a United States audience through Link TV,” said Kimeran Daley, the head of North American distribution sales for Al Jazeera Network. “Link TV’s commitment to showing international news and thought-provoking programming makes them an ideal partner for Al Jazeera English in America.”
Link TV broadcasts award-winning programmes with the goal of engaging, educating and activating viewers to become involved in the world. The channel currently reaches 36 million households in the US on cable and satellite.
“Witness will be a positive addition to our current line-up of critically acclaimed programmes,” added Lorraine Hess, the vice president of acquisitions for Link TV. “At Link TV we believe in airing programmes that provide a unique perspective on international news, current events and cultures while presenting issues that are not often covered in the US media.”
The announcement comes during a particularly successful period for Al Jazeera English, which launched in November 2006, and was recently awarded ‘Best 24 Hour News Programme’ at the 48th Annual Monte Carlo Television Festival. The channel also recently received its first two International Emmy nominations in both news and current affairs, for its groundbreaking news coverage of the public uprising and subsequent military crackdown in Myanmar and for a Witness programme about the Red Mosque in Pakistan.
Witness is being aired weekly on Mondays starting October 6, 2008, at 11PM Eastern/8PM Pacific immediately after the Peabody award-winning original programme Mosaic. Witness will also repeat on Wednesdays at 7PM Eastern/4PM Pacific. It will be available on DIRECTV Channel 375 and DISH Channel 9410, as well as on select cable channels in local markets.