Why was Al Jazeera English taken off mio TV in Singapore? Will it return via M1? Murkiness.

Posted: 15 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"A Singaporean minister confirmed that the Arabic news channel, Al Jazeera, was dropped by SingTel's Mio TV due to low interest among viewers. Ever since Al Jazeera was taken off the air on 1 April, there has been speculation in the market that the channel was taken off air due to the controversial nature of its coverage on Singapore. The channel carried stories on the socio-economic issues in the country including homelessness, prostitution and rising prices." Asiya Bakht, 14 April 2010.
     "The Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera (AJE) was dropped from SingTel's mioTV news service because it generated little interest among viewers in Singapore. At a media round table in Cannes yesterday, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, shot down spe-culation that the channel was dropped because it had done unflattering stories about Singapore." Straits Times, 14 April 2010.
     "Local teleco M1 today denied a report in the Straits Times that it had 'inked a deal' with Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera to carry its news bulletins and other content. In a press release, M1 said it 'has neither signed an agreement with Al Jazeera nor has any direct dealings with them as we source contents through various content aggregators.' M1 added that it had not, however, finalised the details of its service offerings, including the final programme mix and choice of delivery medium." Channel NewsAsia Singapore, 14 April 2010. See also Today, 15 April 2010.
     "The decision to drop news channel Al Jazeera English from Singtel’s mio TV this month has only served to generate needless negative publicity for Singapore. ... Since its launch in November 2006, AJE has become a major player in the international media, with a viewership of 200 million households spread across more than 100 countries. It is a figure only bettered by the likes of BBC World News and CNN International. Both have been around for about two decades. But neither has provided Singapore-specific coverage of socio-economic issues like AJE has in recent times. ... So I find it hard to understand how AJE does not 'enhance mio TV’s channel offerings', especially when its existing news channels are euronews, Russia Today and CCTV 9. Do they better 'address the demands and requirements' of the customers?" AJE journalist Ng E-Jay, The Online Citizen, 15 April 2010. See previous post about same subject.