Al Jazeera Sues AT&T, But Can It Succeed in America Anyway?
AT&T (NYSE:T) is being sued by the Qatari royal family-owned network Al Jazeera after refusing to carry the channel in its U-Verse cable offerings, which violates a previous agreement with Al Jazeera’s U.S. unit, according to a court filing seen by Bloomberg.
AT&T said earlier this week that it wouldn’t carry the network due to a contract dispute. The domestic and international news channel is most famous for being the channel that aired Osama bin Laden’s video messages after September 11, 2001. After that, former President George W. Bush said the network was sympathetic to terrorists; Al Jazeera has further angered the U.S. government by broadcasting images of civilian casualties in a 2003 battle in Fallujah, Iraq, Bloomberg reports.
Now Al Jazeera is trying to change its image, bringing in CNN reporters Soledad O’Brien and Ali Velshi to boost appeal. The network has correspondents in countries where few Western journalists go, in addition to 700 staff members located in the U.S. Al Jazeera is set to replace Current TV, and has deals in place with Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA), DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), but the network was also dropped by Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC).