When AT&T unilaterally decided to refuse network access to Al Jazeera America it culminated into a legal battle in media world.
Delaware – 21.08.2013 – A legal battle has commenced between disputing parties, the AT&T network and Al Jazeera America channel over the refusal of the former of network access to the later.
According to Al Jazeera sources, it was willful breach of contract by AT&T. “AT&T’s decision to unilaterally delete Al Jazeera America presented us with circumstances that were untenable — an affiliate that has willfully and knowingly breached its contractual obligations,” they insist.
Drop of current by the cable provider late Monday virtually meant that U-verse subscribers would no more have access to the news channel. The decision however was unilateral on the part of AT&T though it announced on Tuesday that Al Jazeera America has sought judicial intervention against its decision to discontinue access of the channel to AT&T network.
Unilateral action by AT&T left Al Jazeera with no other option but to seek judicial intervention. Intention of the news channel is to enforce its rights that it considers legitimate because of an agreement with AT&T and which they feel has been illegally breached by the networking organization. Resorting to law suit, Al Jazeera hopes that either AT&T will see light or would be forced to accept the right course of action by the court of law.
News in the New York Times also refers to complaints made by U-verse subscribers about dropping the news channel before it was launched.
In its response, AT&T informed The Times that they are still not conversant with the contents of the lawsuit that has been filed on Tuesday in the Delaware Chancery court.
“As a result of our inability to come to terms on a new agreement and due to certain breaches of the existing agreement, we have decided not to carry Current TV on U-verse,” AT&T said explaining their stand in the issue.
It would be interesting knowing a few facts about Al Jazeera America that basically is an integral part of the global Doha based news organization. According to reliable sources, the channel is financed by the Qatar Royal family. Incidentally, the global AJAM is visible to over 49 million or almost half of the cable homes across United States via Comcast DISH network, FiOS, and the Direct TV.
The same however is not available on Time Warner Cable with which Al Jazeera is currently negotiating to regain the access to the cable network.
AJAM or Al Jazeera America hopes to resolve their dispute with AT&T quickly in a favorable environment. “Al Jazeera America’s strong hope is to resolve this matter quickly so that AT&T’s customers will have access to our unbiased, fact-based and in depth coverage of the news that is important to Americans.”
Before this dispute Al Jazeera was all set to enter into the AT&T cable network at 3 PM on Tuesday by replacing the Current channel. It was not to be as AT&T suddenly changed their mind about airing AJAM.
Pertinent question is can oil money buy the relevance for the controversial network?