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Did Qatar Bribe Time Warner into Carrying Al Jazeera?

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 26, 2013 @ 10:50 am In The Point | 19 Comments

Current TV, a failed Gorean alternative to MSNBC, was only carried by cable providers like Time Warner because of Al Gore’s political influence. The corrupt terms of that arrangement meant that Gore and Co. were cashing in because viewers of other channels were effectively subsidizing the unwatched liberal channel.

When Al Gore sold out to the Emir of Qatar, Time Warner breathed a sigh of relief and dumped the remohammeded Al Jazeera America. But now Al Jazeera America is back on Time Warner Cable even though it doesn’t have any actual viewers.

So what was behind Time Warner’s change of heart? Two possibilities…

1. Intimidation

2. Cash

While the former is possible, Qatar is throwing enough money around that the latter would be easier. The New York Times seems to agree.

Al Jazeera America, like other channel owners, has sought an unspecified per-subscriber fee to be carried. But distributors are generally reluctant to add to their crowded lineups, so channels have occasionally paid to be carried. In this case, Al Jazeera may pay Time Warner Cable for marketing and advertising sales support.

Mr. Al Shihabi declined to say whether Al Jazeera had paid, but called the distribution deal a “win-win proposition.”

That looks like Al Jazeera paid to be carried which doesn’t do anything for its credibility. Considering that it spent $25,000 per viewer, it might be cheaper for it to just start paying people to watch it.


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