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Al-Jazeera dumps Arabsat Jan 1

We reported before the holiday that Al-Jazeera’s news and entertainment channels were to switch to Qatar’s own Es’Hail-1 satellite. It is now clear that the new transmission model includes Al-Jazeera’s non-news channels, as well as its ‘English’ and ‘America’ versions of its news channel. The decision covers channels from Al-Jazeera Media Network.

Transmissions are already on air (as of December 31st) and have been available to viewers for much of the past year. The final switch is being made on January 1st, and while viewers will not have to re-align satellite dishes because Es’Hail shares Arabsat’s orbital position of 25.5 degrees East. However, viewers will have to tune into Al-Jazeera’s new frequencies from Es’Hail.

The decision also means an end to Al-Jazeera’s broadcasts on Arabsat. Al-Jazeera has been using Arabsat’s BADR-4 and BADR-5 satellites. Transmissions from Nilesat will continue as normal.

Es’Hail says that all its existing Al-Jazeera channels “and potential new channel bundles” will now be available from Es’Hail.

Es’Hail-1 is a satellite that is jointly-owned between Qatar and Eutelsat.

Es’hailSat’s CEO, Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari said: “We believe that we have the optimum solution for AJMN not only in terms of technical capabilities and performance, but also in terms of independence and security of the content we broadcast. We have designed Es’hail 1 and our second satellite Es’hail 2 with advanced anti-jamming capabilities. Selecting Es’hailSat further demonstrates the value of our broadcasting independence, quality of service, and our market penetration.”

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