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Published On: Thu, Aug 22nd, 2013

Al Jazeera America debuts, sues AT&T for not carrying network

Al Jazeera has sued AT&T for refusing to carry the Qatar-based company’s new Al Jazeera America as part of its pay TV service, claiming AT&T is violating a deal it had with Al Jazeera’s U.S. division, according to a filing in Delaware Chancery Court.

Al Jazeera America debuts as the network AT&T for dropping the channel photo screenshot from broadcast

Al Jazeera America debuts as the network AT&T for dropping the channel photo screenshot from broadcast

AT&T officials’ decision amounts to a “wrongful termination of an affiliation agreement,” Al Jazeera said in the filing, which accompanied a sealed complaint, Bloomberg reported late this afternoon.

Al Jazeera America has released a statement about its lawsuit (read here) against AT&T: “Al Jazeera America made a decision to seek judicial intervention in its dispute with AT&T,” the network said. “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. 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.”

AT&T announced shortly before the new network’s launch this afternoon that it had dropped Al Gore’s Current TV channel last night, and would not carry Al Jazeera America, on U-verse due to contract disputes. Al Jazeera had paid $500 million for Current TV in January and replaced it with Al Jazeera America. “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,” a rep for Al Jazeera told Bloomberg.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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