Nilesat problems affect Jordan Media City
February 3, 2011
By Chris Forrester
Jordan Media City, the nation’s main teleport and with direct links to Cairo-based Nilesat, said that it has been under pressure from the NileSat administration to drop the Al Jazeera satellite news channel from its package of channels that broadcast via Nilesat.
BBC Monitoring is reporting that Al Jazeera is accusing NileSat administration of blocking its broadcasting as part of the Egyptian government’s clampdown on protesters and TV coverage of their revolt against the Cairo regime.
Al Jazeera’s satellite frequency is among a package of frequencies transmitted from Jordan Media City, which also includes Jordan TV, Melody Aflam, Blue Nile and five other scrambled ART channels, JMC CEO Radi Alkhas told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.
“According to our contract with NileSat, we have the right to transmit on five transponders each having a capacity of 14 channels. We transmit via our facility to NileSat which in turn retransmits our frequencies to different parts of the world,” Alkhas said, adding that as soon as the retransmission was stopped, the JMC resorted to vacant frequencies on other satellites to compensate for the lost frequencies.
Alkhas said he had contacted the NileSat administration “who informed me that unless we drop Al Jazeera frequency from their package, they will not resume retransmission,” Alkhas said, noting that he informed Al Jazeera of the situation and they showed understanding.
“What Nilesat did was unprofessional and jeopardises the whole industry as they used their capabilities to serve a political agenda of the Egyptian government,” Alkhas said, adding that he was considering legal claims on Nilesat.