Advanced Television

DirecTV wants Al Jazeera off its bouquet

November 11, 2014

By Chris Forrester

DirecTV is litigating in Los Angeles Superior Court against Al Jazeera America. The case alleges that news channel Al Jazeera Americas is not what it signed up to carry.

The case, in essence, goes back to former Vice President Al Gore’s $500 million sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, and where the news broadcaster was in particular interested in the carriage deals Current TV had in place with most of the USA’s cable and satellite pay-TV operators.

Last Wednesday it emerged that Judge Elizabeth Allen White had criticised both litigants for their massive redacting (editing) of the Court documents, saying that the public had a right to see what the case was all about. “There is a huge, huge right for the public to be aware of what’s going on in the litigation,” White told attorneys in the case.  “What’s in the file is a complaint that’s been practically completely blacked out,” Judge White said. “I looked at it and I thought, ‘Nobody knows anything at this point. You’ll have to go to Delaware [where litigation between Al Gore and Al Jazeera is being heard] to find out.'”

A mostly un-edited filing was then made to the Court by DirecTV, and which lays out its complaints. DirecTV says that the original agreement (with Current TV) listed assorted news-based programming such as ‘Google Current’, ‘News Current’ and the like.  Subsequent to the acquisition by Al Jazeera those shows vanished, and were replaced with Al Jazeera output.

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