Drahi News Channel Sets U.S. Launch in February

i24 News—the international news channel started by Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice N.V.—plans to launch a 24 hour a day news channel in the U.S. in February.

Altice will be the first distributor to carry the channel, which is already available in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

i24 News has established a U.S. headquarters in New York and a bureau in Washington, D.C. The launch date is Feb. 13.

The launch comes at a time when the news business is trying to figure out how to cover President Trump—who is highly critical of the mainstram media, calling CNN in particular "fake news."

“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 organization with a track record of journalistic excellence around the world,” said Dexter Goei, president of Altice N.V. 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.”

i24 News' global headquarters in Tel Aviv has three separate studios that each broadcast in a different language—English, French and Arabic. i24 News currently has more than 250 journalists, representing 35 different nationalities.

In the U.S., it will have about 50 staffers. Members of the news staff have yet to be announced.

Programming for i24 News in the U.S. will include hard news and interviews with a focus on both domestic and international news. The U.S. channel will broadcast in English and provide content from its studios in New York City, Washington, D.C., Tel Aviv and Paris.

At launch, i24 News will be available in the U.S. on Altice USA’s Optimum TV and Suddenlink TV systems.

“In a society where everything has global implications – from politics and healthcare to education and security – i24 News in the U.S. will provide a new voice as it melds different points of view with everyday developments,” said Frank Melloul, CEO of i24 News. “I look forward to shaping i24 News to become the go-to-source for news and current events analysis on the issues of most importance to U.S. viewers, and am honored to provide a new model for showcasing how U.S., Middle East and international news can come together every day.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.