As news of Al Jazeera America’s shutdown recently broke, many analysts have expressed surprise or shock over the announcement, however a quick look at their viewer numbers shows that this was a long time coming.
Back in April of 2015, the New York Post reported that Al Jazeera America was spending over $73,000 per viewer! At the time, it was estimated that the network was only pulling in around 27,000 viewers and $15 million in advertising revenue despite investing $2 billion on the network. To put that in perspective, eight times more people will see this article online than will have tuned into watch this highly promoted network on a regular basis.
Al Jazeera America originally debuted with a mission to “play the news straight”, touting an unlimited budget and high standard of professionalism, although as the New York Post reported last year, many employees felt the network immediately strayed from this path.
Despite ratings being less than stellar across all news channels, including major players such as CNN and MSNBC, these networks still manage to stay relevant by staying in the news themselves, something that Al Jazeera America never achieved, or by our standards, attempted to do.
Because of their failure to impact the American market, hundreds of Americans will lose their job when Al Jazeera America officially closes shop.