Ad Age has a short article out right now about the colossal face-plant that is Al Jazeera America, formerly CurrentTV, which Al Jazeera bought from Al Gore for something like $100 million. Get a load of these numbers for viewership:
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.
Only 15,000 prime time viewers? Seriously? Any old Occupy Wall Street YouTube video will pull a multiple of that. This post will probably exceed that number of viewers by lunchtime. Maybe we should pursue our long-mooted plan to launch Power Line TV.
Then there’s this droll note:
Early on, Al Jazeera America said it had made a strategic decision to offer a reduced commercial load: about 6 minutes of ads per hour, compared with 15 minutes for rivals. That strategy may be aided, of course, by relatively weak demand.
Personally, I’d rather watch the commercials. I don’t like Al Jazeera, of course, but I think Power Line would be willing to sell out to them for the bargain basement price of only $50 million.