New Zealanders will now be able to watch 24-hour news coverage from Middle East based broadcaster Al Jazeera.

The Qatar-headquartered news network, which covers events in the Middle East and around the globe, has launched Al Jazeera English in New Zealand for the first time.

From September 1, SKY subscribers will be able to tune into channel 090 to get their international news fix, with a free-to-air broadcast available from November 1.

"Were incredibly pleased to be making these breakthroughs in New Zealand, and look forward to offering to viewers our in-depth global journalism, marked with integrity," Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said.

"The world is a village, and what happens on the other side of the planet has an effect on us, whether that be on the climate, economy or war."

The network has recently been in New Zealand headlines after Kiwi journalist Wayne Hay was detained in Egypt along with cameraman Adil Bradlow, and producers Russ Finn and Baher Mohammed.

The quartet have been held in Cairo by officials since Tuesday (local time).

Al Jazeera has publicly demanded their release and says the arrests are part of what Reporters Without Boarders has labelled growing hostility towards journalists in Egypt.

Launching as an independent Middle-Eastern news channel focusing on the Arab world, Al Jazeera now has over twenty channels including Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English.

The latter has sixty bureaus around the world on six continents and broadcasts to over 250 million households, according to the broadcaster.


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