Al Jazeera America launched today at 3 p.m. ET, but its expected subscriber base of nearly 50 million may have fallen short of the mark as AT&T U-verse says it dropped Current TV prior to the changeover to the new nationwide news network.
"Due to contract disputes, we dropped the Current TV channel and will not carry Al Jazeera America on U-verse," U-verse replied to several queries on Twitter via its AT&T U-verse account. U-verse, with some 5 million customers, is the eighth biggest multichannel provider in the country. Current TV had been on channel 189 in the telco TV provider's mid-range U300 package, AT&T said.
An AT&T press representative added: “We could not reach an agreement with the owner that we believed provided value for our customers and our business.” U-verse dropped Current TV at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) last night (Aug. 19).
The network also launched without carriage on Time Warner Cable, the second-biggest U.S. cable operator, though TWC had said it was in talks about possibly carrying the channel in future. TWC dropped Current TV after it was sold to Al Jazeera Media in January.
An email to AJAM's press representatives wasn't immediately answered.