Got Al Jazeera? | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
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Got Al Jazeera? 

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As the world continues to be glued to the unfolding revolution in Egypt, cable TV viewers in the United States are receiving a decidedly Western view of the ongoing protests and unrest.

That is, unless you're a Burlington Telecom subscriber. If you are one of the few thousand BT subscribers you can watch Al Jazeera English (AJE) on Channel 132, tucked between TruTV (which used to be Court TV) and FOX Business.

AJE has received plenty of kudos from news analysts for providing some of the most comprehensive, on-the-ground coverage of the burgeoning revolution and calls for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Despite its financial transgressions, BT remains one of the few cable television providers in the country that offers AJE to select subscribers. To watch AJE, you have to subscribe to BT's "standard plus" cable package.

The only other cable operators that offer AJE are in Ohio and Washington, DC, according to a recent report by Huffington Post.

BT came under fire for offering the channel to its subscribers and initially was prepared to drop the channel, but free speech proponents and Mayor Bob Kiss thwarted that effort.

When the topic came to a head at a BT advisory committee meeting in 2008, Al Jazeera dispatched a reporter to the scene. Shortly after, BT signed a contract to carry AJE.

Maybe the unrest in Egypt will help boost BT's subscriber base. Then again, maybe the last thing Mayor Kiss wants is unending footage of people rioting in the streets and calling for the resignation of an unpopular leader.

If you're not a BT subscriber, and can't become one, you can go to AJE's website and stream live coverage — for free.

 

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More by Shay Totten

About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Bio:
Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

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