Al Jazeera English granted approval to broadcast in Canada

Award-Winning International News Channel Breaks Into Canadian Market

OTTAWA, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Al Jazeera English is pleased to announce that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has included the award-winning international news and current affairs channel on its digital Lists of Eligible Satellite Services. This decision will allow Canadian cable and satellite distributors to include AJE among their channel offerings.

AJE has received indications from several of Canada's major distributors that they want to include Al Jazeera English in their lineup, and is hopeful they will make an early announcement of a launch date.

The announcement from the CRTC follows a formal application process and a 30-day consultation notice period during which Canadians were allowed to submit letters voicing their opinions of AJE. The submission process demonstrated an overwhelming demand for the channel with 98% of the submissions, approximately 2,800 letters and emails, being positive.

Tony Burman, the Managing Director of AJE, is the former Editor in Chief of CBC News. Commenting on the CRTC decision Burman said, "We are very excited that Canadians will soon have the same opportunities as people in more than 180 million households in more than 100 countries. For over three years, Al Jazeera English has been setting new standards in reporting by providing a platform for the under-represented corners of the world. Over the last several months I have had the opportunity to travel throughout Canada and hear firsthand the great demand for our groundbreaking news and current affairs programming. We look forward to bringing AJE's award-winning coverage to the Canadian people."

Additionally, AJE has pledged to open a bureau in Canada in the near future, signifying the channel's commitment to presenting Canadian news and perspective to a global audience. This will make AJE the only international news channel with a bureau in Canada.

Since launching in 2006, AJE has become a world leader in the coverage of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. With broadcast centres strategically located in Kuala Lumpur, Doha, London and Washington, DC, and nearly 70 news bureaus around the world, the channel's aim is to provide independent and impartial news for a global audience.

AJE has more than 1000 employees worldwide, representing more than 50 nationalities - including many from Canada - making AJE's newsrooms the most diverse in the world.

In its short time on air, Al Jazeera English has been recognized for its distinguished reporting and programming. In 2008 and 2009, AJE received nominations for international Emmy awards in both the News and Current Affairs categories, and in 2009 the channel received a nomination in the documentary category. Additionally, AJE has received awards from the Monte-Carlo TV Festival, the Royal Television Society, Amnesty International and YouTube.

ECG (Ethnic Channels Group) acted as the channel's sponsor, presenting the application to the CRTC in February 2009, a legal requirement for non-Canadian channels to be distributed in Canada. ECG is a Canadian multi-ethnic broadcaster, which currently offers 12 television channels to Canadian cable and satellite systems. This was the first application to the CRTC for carriage of Al Jazeera English.

About Al Jazeera English

Al Jazeera English is the first English language world news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. Launched in November 2006, Al Jazeera English is setting the global news agenda and acts as a bridge between cultures. With unique access as the channel of reference for Middle East events, and broadcast centres strategically placed around the world in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, Al Jazeera English is balancing the information flow from South to North, providing independent and impartial news for a global audience, giving voice to different perspectives from under-reported regions around the world.

Al Jazeera started out over thirteen years ago as the first independent Arabic news channel in the world dedicated to providing comprehensive television news and live debate for the Arab world. Al Jazeera was formally named the Al Jazeera Network in March 2006, transforming its operation into an international media corporation - the Al Jazeera Network now consists of the flagship Al Jazeera Arabic channel, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera.net (the English and Arabic web sites), the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Al Jazeera Mubasher (Live), and Al Jazeera Mobile. Visit www.aljazeera.net/english for more details.

About ECG

Ethnic Channels Group Limited ("ECG") is a privately held Canadian company licensed by the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to operate 52 category 2 digital specialty services to the Canadian market place. ECGL is currently operating 12 Category 2 (digital specialty services) channels that deliver 24 hours 7 days a week leading programming from the countries of origin, serving the following communities: Arabic, Filipino, German, Greek, Iranian, Israeli, Russian, and Vietnamese. ECGL also provides broadcasting facilities to third parties from its NCC - Network Control Center. The Company has built its broadcast infrastructure using the newest technology with unique network architecture as its backbone. Delivering services via satellite and/or fiber ECGL is a full service television production and distribution centre fully equipped with master control, edit facilities and production studio. For more information please visit www.ethnicchannels.com

SOURCE AL-JAZEERA ENGLISH

For further information: For further information: For media inquires: Robin V. Sears - rsears@navltd.com, Office: (416) 642-5016, Mobile: (416) 995-5663; Alex Callahan - acallahan@navltd.com, Office: (416) 642-6434, Mobile: (416) 908-7750

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AL-JAZEERA ENGLISH

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