DirecTV has settled its end of a complicated series of lawsuits involving Qatari-backed news channel Al Jazeera America.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the satellite company has settled its $75 million suit against the channel. Terms were disclosed, but DirecTV hasn't responded to FierceCable's inquiry for confirmation and comment.
For Al Jazeera America, courtroom acrimony started in 2013, when Qatar-based Al Jazeera purchased Al Gore's Current TV. Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) was able to terminate its carriage deal with Current TV and negotiate new terms to carry Al Jazeera America.
Rival pay-TV operators, including the pre-merger DirecTV and AT&T, complained that "most favored nation" clauses in their Current TV deals mandated that they get terms similar to those enjoyed by TWC to carry Al Jazeera America.
In June, DirecTV increased its damages claim to $74.5 million based on findings made in discovery. However, the satellite operator dropped a separate breach-of-contract claim that Al Jazeera wasn't delivering the type of programming it had signed up for when it contracted with Current TV. The two sides entered negotiations on a carriage renewal.
As the Hollywood Reporter notes, it's likely that the settlement is part of a new carriage agreement. But again, no terms have been announced.
Still unresolved is Gore's lawsuit against Al Jazeera, which claims the foreign media company has been "encouraging [pay-TV] distributors to file baseless claims" and dip into a $65 million escrow account relating to the Current-Al Jazeera transaction. On Thursday, Gore filed suit in Delaware Chancery Court to try to get legal expenses reimbursed.
- read this Hollywood Reporter story
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