Al Jazeera paid $500 Million dollars for a liberal cable channel no one watched and then lost half its viewers. How much did that half a billion bucks, plus whatever Qatar paid Time Warner to carry it, buy? Six months after its launch, Al Jazeera America still suffers from notably small audiences and lingering image problems.
AD Age Executives declined to name the advertisers, however, and although Expedia ads ran on Al Jazeera America on Monday, commercial pods in daytime and prime-time alike were mainly devoted to cheapo direct-response marketers such as The Tax Doctor, Dollar Shave Club, Hip Hop Abs, GetDerm.com and Hair Club for Men. But for the most part, major advertisers are still staying away from Al Jazeera America.
The channel isn’t even pulling in half the total audience that predecessor Current TV managed. Al Jazeera America has averaged just 15,000 total viewers in prime-time since bowing in August, with only 5,000 viewers in the target 25-to-54-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen figures. That’s low enough to be considered “scratch,” or negligible, by Nielsen. For the marketers that still worry about the channel’s perspective and its image in the U.S., those aren’t the kind of numbers to tempt a re-examination.
Al Jazeera America has worked to reduce fears about its agenda by bringing in well-known journalists and anchors like Kate O’Brian from ABC News, veteran foreign correspondent Sheila MacVicar and former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, who serves as a special correspondent.
Or, maybe they should go the Reality TV route? For example:
ALLAH in the Family
Which 12-Year Old Wants to Marry a Millionaire?
Dancing With the Shahs
Extreme Tent Makeover
SURVIVOR: Syria Edition
Married With 137 Children
Real Housewives of Riyadh
So You Think You Can Detonate
Queer Eye for the Straight Jihadi
Who Wants to Be a Martyr?
Desperate Child Wives
Sharia Law & Order: Special Acid Attack Victims Unit