Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cable Provider Pulls Plug on Current TV After Al Jazeera Purchase

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 9:34 AM


Following the sale of Al Gore's ratings-challenged Current TV to Al Jazeera, Time Warner Cable—one of the nation's largest television providers—promptly pulled the plug on the channel. The Atlantic Wire cites speculation that Time Warner may simply not be too thrilled with Al Jazeera being one of its new content providers.

The perceived prejudice toward the Qatar-owned news organization is nothing new: In August 2011, Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English, told The Huffington Post that "in the United States of America, there were myths and misconceptions that needed to be tackled about what Al Jazeera stood for and what Al Jazeera English stood for and stands for."

Al Jazeera plans to convert Current TV to Al Jazeera America and station its new headquarters in New York City.

In a memo to Current TV staff obtained by Talking Points Memo, Joel Hyatt, the co-founder of Current TV, noted that Time Warner Cable "did not consent to the sale to Al Jazeera." Hyatt added, "Consequently, Current will no longer be carried on TWC. This is unfortunate, but I am confident that Al Jazeera America will earn significant additional carriage in the months and years ahead."

According to The New York Times, Al Gore personally lobbied the cable companies to support the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, as the carrier agreements come with the sale of the news organization. It's reported that all other providers will be honoring the agreements they held with Current TV previously.

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