Media

Al Jazeera America America Launches With Understandably Low Ratings

The logo for the cable news network Al Jazeera America appears outside the network's studio space at the Newseum in Washington, DC, August 16, 2013. Al Jazeera America, a cable news network set to launch on August 20, will have 12 bureaus in major cities in the US, three broadcast centers, a headquarters in New York City, and around 900 journalists and staff. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
The logo for the cable news network Al Jazeera America appears outside the network's studio space at the Newseum in Washington, DC, August 16, 2013. Al Jazeera America, a cable news network set to launch on August 20, will have 12 bureaus in major cities in the US, three broadcast centers, a headquarters in New York City, and around 900 journalists and staff. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Al Jazeera America launched last week with understandably soft ratings.

The folks at TVNewser obtained Al Jazeera America's launch-week ratings from Nielsen, and the numbers were representative of the low-rated cable channel the network replaced. Thursday's episode of Ali Velshi's primetime show brought in 54,000 total viewers, a ratings high note.

After months of buildup, Al Jazeera America launched last week with sharp jabs at its cable news competitors. The hour-long introduction featured video reels of Fox News Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Al Sharpton shouting at the camera. Al Jazeera America vowed to offer viewers an alternative of the hyper-partisan 24-hour cable news networks. Though Al Jazeera America will compete with other cable news networks, it is not available in nearly as many homes as Fox News, MSNBC and CNN. Combined with Current TV's already-low ratings, the budding network will need some time to find its ratings footing.