The problem with news channels is you really have to be 24 hours if you're going to cover the news properly. A little noted fact about the new Al Jazeera English channel is that it is only live for 12 hours a day (midday to midnight GMT) - the other 12 hours being recorded programmes. So when today the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert made an historic speech saying he hopes to revive long-stalled peace efforts with the Palestinians, Al Jazeera were not live and viewers had to wait two hours to hear about it.
Last week, when the Gemayel funeral in Lebanon was also in the morning (GMT) they opened shop two hours early to cover it.
The BBC's arabic channel, due to launch next year, currently is only funded to run 12 hours a day. Winning funding for the other 12 hours is a priority before launch.