Al Jazeera sues AT&T for dropping channel

Al Jazeera America (AJAM), launched on August 20th, has filed a lawsuit against pay-TV provider, AT&T, after the US telco giant made a late decision to drop the channel from its U-Verse service citing “contractual disputes”.

“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,” AJAM said in a statement. “Al Jazeera America’s strong hope is to resolve this matter quickly.”

AT&T, which has about five million U-Verse customers, didn’t provide details of their dispute, but said it “could not reach an agreement with the owner (Al Jazeera) that we believed provided value for our customers and our business.”

AT&T said its decision wasn’t hastily made and it notified customers through newspaper ads in July that it may stop carrying the AJAM channel.

AJAM remains on Comcast, Verizon FiOS, DirecTV and Dish Network, with access to about 43 million households.

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