DirecTV finally reveals details about Al Jazeera suit: It wants news channel off its program guide

DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) sued Al Jazeera America in July to terminate its carriage agreement with the cable news network, claiming the channel's programming is not what it signed up for.

The fairly straightforward narrative of this complaint only publicly surfaced last week, when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered lawyers from both sides to illuminate on large redacted portions of the complaint.

"There is a huge, huge right for the public to be aware of what's going on in the litigation," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White told lawyers at a court hearing, which was attended by the Hollywood Reporter.

The less redacted suit can be viewed here on the Reporter's website.

The details about DirecTV's claim constitute only the latest development in a complex web of litigation that occurred after Al Jazeera agreed to buy Al Gore's Current TV--and acquire its U.S. distribution footprint--in 2012.

Earlier this year, Gore sued the Qatari-backed network, claiming it held back $65 million that's currently sitting in escrow.

In his complaint, Gore accuses Al Jazeera of making a huge mistake by giving Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) special terms when it renegotiated its carriage agreement with the MSO. That opened the door, Gore claims, for other pay-TV operators including, DirecTV and AT&T (NYSE: T), to file a range of lawsuits, claiming their own contracts are unfair.

Gore also accuses Al Jazeera of using the $65 million as a "slush fund" to keep pay-TV operators happy.  

For more:
- read this Hollywood Reporter story
- read this Courthouse News story

Related links:
Al Jazeera America wants AT&T dispute details to remain secret
Judge orders Al Jazeera, AT&T to open up details of contract dispute
TWC, Bright House to launch Al Jazeera America
AT&T drops Al Jazeera; Verizon agrees with CBS

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