Altice confirms i24 News launch date for US

i24Altice has confirmed plans to launch a version of its Israel-based news channel for the US. The cable, telecom and media group will debut a US version of i24 News, the Tel Aviv-based service launched by the company’s founder Patrick Drahi in 2013, on February 13.

The channel, which is based in New York with a separate bureau in Washington DC, will be distributed by Altice’s US cable arm, Altice USA, initially.

I24 News has hjired about 50 staff across both cities, with a news team line-up to be announced over the coming weeks. Programming will include hard news and interviews with a focus on both domestic and international stories. The channel will broadcast in English and provide content from its studios in New York, Washington, Tel Aviv and Paris.

The channel will initially be available on Altice USA’s Optimum TV and Suddenlink TV networks.

Altice USA already operates regional news service News 12 Networks in the New York tri-state area. In France, Altice operates news channels BFM TV and offshoots BFM Business News and BFM Sport.

“What began as a dream of our founder to create a source for news where debate and multiple perspectives were welcome, has become i24 News – a well-respected, differentiated global news organisation with a track record of journalistic excellence around the world,” said Dexter Goei, President of Altice and chairman and CEO of Altice USA.

“Content is core to Altice’s global strategy, and this is an exciting step as we bring i24 News to the U.S. and provide refreshing, balanced content that will offer a new perspective on domestic and international news that consumers cannot watch anywhere else.”

The launch of i24 News follows Altice’s hiring of former Mood Media International chief Claude Nahon to head up i24’s international expansion. In addition to the US launch, Nahon has been tasked with growing the news channel’s revenues both in France and internationally, working closely with SFR parent Altice’s advertising units.