Al Jazeera English taken off Singapore's mio TV (updated again: AJE reports on Singapore homelessness).

Posted: 08 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"Singtel has officially dropped news channel Al Jazeera English (AJE) from its selection of MioTV options from 1st April. ... No word or reason had been given by Singtel on why they have pulled AJE from the airwaves. A check with the MioTV site does indicate that the dropped Middle East news channel has been replaced with 'newer adequate choices' such as Russia Today, CCTV 9 (China) as well as Euronews. I don’t really need to explain possibly how uninspiring the first two options are as respected news channels, given the state of politics and press freedom in bothRussia and China. Perhaps Al Jazeera has rattled the nerves of the ruling elite with a host of programs scrutinizing the socio-economic problems in Singapore, more so than any other news channel (including the venerable BBC World News). You can be sure CCTV 9, Russia Today and Euronews would almost have minimal, if not tame coverage on anything to do with Singapore." Dexter Lee, Icarus Flew Too High weblog, 3 April 2010. Mio TV is an IPTV service, and AJE is missing from its channel list. This terse announcement from mio TV via Google cache.
     "In a letter to subscribers last month, SingTel said the news channel would be dropped from April 1 as mio TV 'strives to enhance our channel offerings'. Asked why the channel was removed, a SingTel spokeswoman told MediaCorp: 'mio TV constantly streamlines our content offerings in order to address the demands and requirements of our customers.' The pay TV operator did not answer queries about Al Jazeera's viewership figures. But the spokeswoman noted that mio TV has dropped fewer than 10 channels since it launched in July 2007. In the past two months, youth channel Sling and nature documentary channel Equator were discontinued. ... Al Jazeera did not reply to enquiries by press time. Singaporeans can continue to watch Al Jazeera reports on its English website." Ong Dai Lin,
Today (Singapore), 7 April 2010.
     Update: "After barely a year, Al Jazeera has just been taken off the air. Now, it took some two years for the Singapore Government to allow us into the country in the first place. When we were finally given the go-ahead, the channel was confined to the fledgeling MIO network, which has extremely limited distribution. No reason has been given for removing us. Hard as it is to believe, I can't rule out the possibility that MIO management considers Russia Today and China's CCTV9 to be more reputable news sources than Al Jazeera English, and more appealing to their audience. Those stations are still available. But if the decision was a commercial rather than a political one, I wonder whether the Singapore Government will now allow the major cable operator, Starhub, to make its own commercial decision?" Teymoor Nabili, AJE Kuala Lumpur presenter, The Asia Blog,, 8 April 2010.
     "Al Jazeera reports on the homelessness issue in Singapore. Singapore is a nation of homeowners, largely thanks to a comprehensive system of government subsidised housing. But despite the system’s overall success, the strict rules also mean that some people fall through the cracks." Aljazeera video report via The Online Citizen (Singapore), 5 April 2010.