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Al Jazeera to launch at 13° East and 5° West, expects to profitable in “four to five years”

Al Jazeera Networks has chosen Eutelsat’s Hot Bird platform at 13° East and Eutelsat 5 West A at 5° West to broadcast its new sports channels in France. Al Jazeera’s beIN Sport 1 will launch on June 1, followed by beIN Sport 2 at the beginning of August.

beIN Sport 1 will show premium coverage of the UEFA Euro 2012 football championship from June 8. The 13° East and 5° West positions have a large DTH footprint in France. Al Jazeera has yet to strike a distribution deal with pay TV operator CanalSat, although it has deals with ISPs including Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Free as well as cable operator Numericable.

At a press conference in Paris, president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said he expected the channels to be profitable in four to five years, despite Qatar’s large investment, the relatively low subscription price of €11 and the fact that the channels will initially be free-to-view between 06:00-09:00, 12:30-13:30 and 19:00-20:30.