Israeli Ops Get OK to Drop CNNI

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Israeli cable operators received government approval Aug. 1 to drop CNN
International from their lineups in November.

Local operators, which face very serious financial problems, have been in
heated negotiations with Cable News Network over renewing carriage deals since
June, when AOL Time Warner Inc. vice chairman Ted Turner's remark that both
Israelis and Palestinians were 'engaged in terrorism' prompted a huge political
controversy in the country.

Local pay TV operators subsequently added Fox News Channel to their lineups
and applied to regulators for permission to drop CNNI, saying that they could no
longer afford the service.

CNN officials complained that the operators, which are suffering huge losses,
are using the political controversy as a negotiating tactic.

If the network loses cable carriage, it would remain available in Israel on
direct-to-home platform Yes, which also has serious financial
problems.

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