Dutch cable advisory council recommends adding Al-Jazeera English
Tuesday, December 19th, 2006
The cable programme advisory council for South Holland South, covering the area around Dordrecht, is the first in the Netherlands to recommend adding Al-Jazeera English to the range of TV channels being offered. Under the Dutch system, the local programme advisory councils reflect the wishes of the viewers to the companies which deliver the signals, and in most cases the advice is followed.

Al-Jazeera could replace BBC World in the basic package, as the BBC is looking to make more money from its Dutch cable presence, and may move BBC World to the more expensive digital plus package, which is an optional extra. The council also feels that a station with a different perspective to the Anglo-American one provided by CNN and BBC World is an attactive option, and would be especially po****r with immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

Andy Sennitt comments: I am not surprised at this recommendation, and expect to see more programme advisory councils across the country follow suit. Within a couple of years, it’s quite likely that Al-Jazeera English will be widely available on cable in the Netherlands, as this country has the highest percentage of Moslems in the EU. BBC World could well be the main loser in this scenario. All the cable sytems offer BBC1 and BBC2, so losing BBC World would not sever the UK connection. On the other hand, CNN is also widely available, and during major international news events the two channels tend to cover the same things live. From that perspective, Al-Jazeera English offers something different.