Al Jazeera America is suing AT&T over its refusal to carry the new network.
Al Jazeera America went live Tuesday without carriage on AT&T after the telecom giant said Monday night it wouldn’t broadcast the network on its U-verse service due to a contractual dispute, Bloomberg reported.
“Unfortunately 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,” Al Jazeera America said in a statement Tuesday night. “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.”
An AT&T spokesman told Bloomberg only that the issue was an “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.” Al Jazeera announced the purchase of Al Gore’s former Current TV in January for $500 million.
Al Jazeera America has built up news bureaus and correspondents in a dozen cities in the U.S., but still has limited distribution in the country. AT&T U-verse has about 5 million U-verse customers.