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Al-Jazeera America debuts, Sues AT&T

Ehab Al Shihabi, second from right, interim CEO for Al-Jazeera America, gestures as he chats with newsroom staff after the network's first broadcast in New York.

Al-Jazeera America Debuts, Sues AT&T


The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Media Network launched its U.S. outlet only eight months after announcing the new venture, which on Tuesday replaced Al Gore's Current TV in more than 45 million TV homes.

Pay-Tv provider AT&T decided to drop the channel from its U-Verse service last minute before the channel's Tuesday official launch, they cited "contractual disputes" as their reason for dropping the channel. A lawsuit was filed by Al-Jazeera America against AT&T.

Al-Jazeera Media claimed an instant U.S. foothold with its $500 million purchase of Current TV and the cable distribution of that little-watched network. Al-Jazeera America also is available from satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network. They are negotiating with other carriers such as Time Warner cable to try to broaden its reach.