And now for some lovely news. Hat tip David (abu dabu)
Yanked by yanks
Comcast backs away from Arab net
LONDON -- Al-Jazeera Intl. has all but conceded defeat in its effort to gain U.S. distribution in time for its worldwide launch Wednesday.
Execs at the nascent English-language offshoot of the Arab broadcaster said Comcast Communications pulled the plug on talks Monday on a deal the net considered essential to gaining a beachhead in the U.S.
The Associated Press last week reported Comcast had pulled out of talks but, in fact, negotiations continued, with Comcast offering to roll out the channel regionally. Comcast is the dominant operator in the Detroit area, which has one of the nation's largest Arab-American populations.
But AJI execs were holding out for a full rollout across all of Comcast's 12.1 million digital subscribers (Comcast has 24 million digital and analog subs), and they believed a deal was imminent.
"We thought we were just awaiting signatures. We feel like we've been led down the garden path. It's a setback for us in the States, but I don't want this to overshadow the fact we've had phenomenal figures in the rest of the world," said one AJI employee who insisted on anonymity.