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Daily Israel Report

Al Jazeera America Floundering Amid Low Ratings

US TV channel of Qatar-based Al Jazeera suffers from low viewership two months in, caused perhaps by Muslim Brotherhood connection.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 11/19/2013, 5:05 PM

Tough times...
Tough times...
Flash 90

Since its August 20 launch to 40 million US homes Al Jazeera America's TV channel has only averaged 13,000 viewers a day nationwide, equivalent to a public access channel, reports the New York Post.

Al Jazeera, which is owned and funded by the government of Qatar, bought the channel in January for $500 million from former US Vice President Al Gore, replacing his Current TV channel.

However the channel, which offers 14 hours of live news per day, has been struggling to put it mildly.

Current TV, which Al Jazeera replaced, had 31,000 views per day and still chose to sell out because of its low ratings.

To put the viewer ratings in perspective, the most recent figures show that each day Fox News reaches 353,000 total viewers, CNN was watched by 174,000 and MSNBC by 121,000.

Not to be deterred, an Al Jazeera America spokesperson told the New York Post on Sunday "we are making large investments in programming and marketing."

It is possible that watchers are avoiding the channel feeling that it has an anti-American bias, or due to the channel's questionable connections. Analysts have warned that the news source could function as a propaganda tool for the Muslim Brotherhood, as Al Jazeera has ties with the organization. The Qatari government is seen as the Brotherhood's most important backer.

Egypt banned Al Jazeera in September along with three Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated news stations following Brotherhood member and former President Mohammed Morsi's ouster, as part of a general crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.