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Old 01-05-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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Al Jazeera buys Current TV

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Al-Jazeera, the Pan-Arab news channel that struggled to win space on American cable television, has acquired Current TV, boosting its reach nearly ninefold to about 40 million homes.

With a focus on U.S. news, it plans to rebrand the left-leaning news network that co-founder Al Gore couldn't make relevant.

The former vice president confirmed the sale Wednesday, saying in a statement that Al-Jazeera shared Current TV's mission "to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling."

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Al-Jazeera has long struggled to get carriage in the U.S., and the deal suffered an immediate casualty as Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable TV operator, announced it would drop Current TV due to the deal.

"Our agreement with Current has been terminated, and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement.

Prior to Al-Jazeera's purchase, Current TV was in 60 million homes. It is carried by Comcast, which owned less than a 10% stake in Current TV, as well as DirecTV. Neither company announced plans to drop the channel.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...-gore/1805685/

It's a shame you have Time Warner being cowards and dropping it right away do to the possibility of some backlash.

Personally, I'm happy about this and I hope it's successful. I'd love to see Fox and CNN get some competition. However, on the internet, there'll be a series of "OMG the liberals sold out to the terrorists just like we said they'd do." Though it'd likely have more misspellings.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
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Broadening our cultural input is only a good thing. I hope they do well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #3
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I find Al Jazeera of persistently high quality, better than any of the American news networks* (which I haven't bothered watching in years), and increasingly the equal of BBC News, etc. I especially think it is unparalleled in reporting on issues in the developing world, that Western networks tend to ignore.

Can someone explain whyTF Time Warner would drop it? Some Byzantine business decision, or just racism?


*NPR excepted.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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A bit of both. TWC is always threatening to drop channels (including local stations) due to deals not 100% in their favor, and just dropped another good chunk of them on the 1st. At the very least, it provided good cover for this.

I was looking forward to having Al Jazeera too when I heard they'd bought Current.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albedo View Post
Can someone explain whyTF Time Warner would drop it? Some Byzantine business decision, or just racism?
What KateSmash said about TW not liking a deal going by them first, also the fact that many in the US hear a network being owned by people in the Middle East and automatically think terrorism. Sadly, there will be some backlash over this and TW wanted to avoid any controversy.

However, it seems that there were enough sane people to get TW to rethink it:
Quote:
Time Warner Cable minced no words when it announced on Wednesday night that it was dropping Current TV, just hours after Al Jazeera acquired the channel. “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service,” the distributor said. “We are removing the service as quickly as possible.”


Critics of the distributor’s decision didn’t hold back, either, calling it cowardly, shameful and just plain dumb. On Twitter and Facebook, many people assumed that Time Warner Cable was expressing corporate opposition to Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, by taking Current off its cable systems in the United States.


But executives at the cable company said the channel wasn’t removed for political reasons. It had more to do, they said, with Current’s low ratings and its contract, which had a “change of ownership” clause that allowed it to be terminated. Time Warner Cable, which has 12 million subscribers, enough to make it the second-largest cable company in the country, has taken a hard line against low-rated channels.


That said, Time Warner Cable doesn’t want to be seen as outwardly hostile to Al Jazeera, especially at a time when other major distributors are keeping Current on their cable systems. (DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon, and AT&T were among the distributors that consented to the takeover of Current.) Al Jazeera plans to replace Current with a channel, potentially called Al Jazeera America, that incorporates new programming from the United States and currrent programming from its headquarters in Qatar.


On Thursday afternoon, as complaints continued, Time Warner Cable issued a statement that opened the door to carrying the channel in the future. “We are keeping an open mind, and as the service develops, we will evaluate whether it makes sense, for our customers, to launch the network,” the statement read.
http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.co...zeera/?src=twr

On the off chance that it wasn't due to politics or fear of bad publicity, then their PR department sucks if it didn't warn them about how it'd look to everyone else.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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I think Time Warner would sell its children to the Antichrist if it made a buck!

They carry RT, Russian Television.

I think wider views are great, but I have to say that all the propaganda everywhere is really getting on my last nerve. Sometimes it's just ideology, I guess, but all the spin and twisting makes news most everywhere so difficult to 'believe'. They aren't objective anymore. They probably weren't ever truly objective, but it's so clear now what is for ratings or what is just following stereotypes.

Al Jazeera isn't very bad at that, imho. I like it better than RT, myself.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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I can't help but think the general reception would be a lot better if they didn't use the name "Al Jazeera." I'm well aware that it would cater to ignorance, but it would also allow a greater audience to become, in theory, less ignorant.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:52 PM   #8
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I use Dish Network and have been enjoying Al Jazeera for a while. If Time-Warner is indeed timid, it could list the alternative name "JSC," which stands for Jazeera Satellite Channel. I wish I could afford the Dish Network package that includes MSNBC; I do miss that channel.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I can't help but think the general reception would be a lot better if they didn't use the name "Al Jazeera." I'm well aware that it would cater to ignorance, but it would also allow a greater audience to become, in theory, less ignorant.
It migth be more helpful to rename some other news channel "Al Jazz-era" (note the jazzy spelling) and change the name of "Al Jazeera" to "Masterpiece" (and then with a calligraphic slo-mo finish) "Classic" or something.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:59 PM   #10
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Personally, I'm happy about this and I hope it's successful. I'd love to see Fox and CNN get some competition. However, on the internet, there'll be a series of "OMG the liberals sold out to the terrorists just like we said they'd do." Though it'd likely have more misspellings.
Was that "misspellings" dig against conservatives really necessary, Shadow Dragon? I've known two or three personally who can spell.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:39 PM   #11
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I didn't really mean it against conservatives as a while. Mainly towards far-right/neocons and just comments on the internet in general.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #12
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I didn't really mean it against conservatives as a while. Mainly towards far-right/neocons and just comments on the internet in general.
WATZ R U SAY? I CANHAZ CONSERVATIVE CATS.
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Last edited by Maxx; 01-08-2013 at 09:52 PM. Reason: WATZ fir WHATS
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #13
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Was that "misspellings" dig against conservatives really necessary, Shadow Dragon? I've known two or three personally who can spell.
Their names don't count, silly.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:57 PM   #14
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To my mind AJ has a very good reputation for non-bias and standing up to intimidation. Hopefully a station that can operate in war zones and countries without the rule of law will be able to cope with US punditry.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:59 PM   #15
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I didn't really mean it against conservatives as a while. Mainly towards far-right/neocons and just comments on the internet in general.
Intentional? Funny either way
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #16
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It's funny how Al Gore, who has dedicated his life to fighting big oil, has no problem now taking their money. As far as Al Jazeera goes, I've watched the english network and I have to say that for the most part, their coverage is stellar. Can't wait to see how it's received in the States.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:41 PM   #17
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It's funny how Al Gore, who has dedicated his life to fighting big oil, has no problem now taking their money. As far as Al Jazeera goes, I've watched the english network and I have to say that for the most part, their coverage is stellar. Can't wait to see how it's received in the States.
It seems like selling Current for a lot of money might be the biggest blow he has managed against Big Oil (I guess any Arab state-supported corporation is equivalent to Big Oil?).

Also AJ doesn't seem to be denialist on the Global warming front.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
To my mind AJ has a very good reputation for non-bias and standing up to intimidation. Hopefully a station that can operate in war zones and countries without the rule of law will be able to cope with US punditry.
I don't know about their Bias, but I've seen a lot of good stuff on AJ.

Also, a quick trip around AJ suggests that AJ isn't denialist on the Global warming front (for example):

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...496145302.html
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:49 PM   #19
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It seems like selling Current for a lot of money might be the biggest blow he has managed against Big Oil (I guess any Arab state-supported corporation is equivalent to Big Oil?).
Not to mention the Saudi interests Murdoch sold Fox/Newscore to, big oil was one of the least dodgy things about them. You don't get that much loose cash by selling peanuts on a street corner.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:45 PM   #20
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Now that I've moved out of N.A. and can finally watch Al Jazeera, I'm finding out more about the current events of African countries than I've ever had. Ever. And FINALLY.

And it's not just poverty stats or war stories. It's the stories of African people doing things, making change/art/film/happiness and just contributing to the world. I love it, but I'm angry that my home news media did not show me this side of the world (or most parts of the world actually) in a balanced way.
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