DirecTV hits Al Jazeera with ‘breach of contract’ suit
July 14, 2014
By Chris Forrester
DirecTV has issued a breach of contract writ against Al Jazeera America (AJAM). Details are vague to say the least but the DBS broadcaster is asking for a 10-day jury trial and significant compensation from Los Angeles Superior Court.
The very heavily redacted 17-page filing, bizarrely, has little to do with Al Jazeera America but is directly related to an ‘Affiliation Agreement’ that DirecTV had in place with AJAM’s predecessor, the Al Gore-backed Current TV channel and which was signed back on July 13th 2005, precisely 8 years ago. AJAM inherited Current TV’s obligations when it bought the ailing station in January 2013.
Meanwhile AJAM’s producers are reportedly being told to cut costs, and to start trimming expensive satellite feeds. David Doss, AJAM’s SVP/Programming, in a leaked July 10 e-mail, is telling staff that they must get pre-approval before booking satellite space and watch studio costs.