Drama with news: Al Jazeera America files lawsuit against AT&T

← return to Water Cooler

The brand new network was only on the air for a matter of hours before drama intersected with news coverage. Al Jazeera America, which went live at 3 p.m. Tuesday, announced it had filed a law suit against AT&T just six hours later.

The reason? The telecom giant unceremoniously dropped the network from U-Verse, its pay TV cable service that reaches some 5 million customers — a decision that AT&T indicated had been in the works for several weeks.

Al Jazeera America struck back swiftly, however.

“Al Jazeera America made a decision to seek judicial intervention in its dispute with AT&T. Unfortunately AT&T’s decision to unilaterally delete Al Jazeera America presented us with circumstances that were untenable — an affiliate that has willfully and knowingly breached its contractual obligations. Accordingly, we had no choice but to take this action and to enforce Al Jazeera America’s rights under its agreement with AT&T — and to compel AT&T to do the right thing,” the network said in a statement.

“Al Jazeera America’s strong hope is to resolve this matter quickly so that AT&T’s customers will have access to our unbiased, fact-based and in depth coverage of the news that is important to Americans,” concluded the network, which is funded by the Qatar government.

Details are still scanty on the dispute, which appears to have been brewing from the days of Current TV, the progressive news network founded by Al Gore in 2005. Al Jazeera America bought the channel from Mr. Gore in January for $500 million and has since built a news organization that promises credible news and original reporting.

Time Warner Cable, which has about 12 million viewers, has also refused to carry Al Jazeera America. The network is still carried by Verizon Fios, Comcast and DirecTV, with the potential reach to 43 million households in the U.S. and about 70 million worldwide.

As once was said in old school TV news, “there’s more to come.”

← return to Water Cooler

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

    LAMBRO: Skirting the lane-closure issue

  • Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

    LYONS: Benghazi demands a select committee in Congress

  • Happening Now