It’s only been a matter of days since Al Jazeera America launched, but it has already hit rocky ground. The Qatar-based television network plans to sue American-based telecoms group, AT&T, for dropping it from the U-verse television subscription service. The blow came just one day before Al Jazeera America went live on August 20, 2013, instantly rocking its potential viewing figures by taking its distribution down from 41 million homes to just 36 million homes. This was the second such setback for Al Jazeera America, having bought the Current TV network from former United States Vice President, Al Gore, in January this year. Within hours of the deal being signed, Time Warner announced it would no longer be carrying the channel, immediately wiping nearly 20 million homes off the 60 million reach that Current TV initially had.
It’s not all bad news however, with a number of positive reviews – mixed with the predictable cynicism – some media heavyweights are predicting it may not be long until Al Jazeera America is picked up by more networks.