Controversial Arab TV station Al-Jazeera is planning to launch an English language news channel.

The Qatar-based broadcaster, which came into being in 1996, says the new service, Al-Jazeera International, expects to start November next year and will feature news, talk shows and documentaries.

Its focus, according to managing director Nigel Parsons, will be on developing countries. He stresses the service will be balanced but adds that because of the company's origins: "We expect to have the best coverage of the Middle East."

It is not yet clear where the new channel will be seen but Parsons says he expects to broadcast on the existing distribution network of the Arabic parent.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff