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Al Jazeera Approved by CRTC

November 27, 2009

The CRTC approved the distribution of Qatar-based Al Jazeera television via satellite in Canada. It will be distributed by Toronto-based Ethnic Channels Group Ltd., who had applied to the CRTC for the right to distribute the 24-hour English language service. Commented Tony Burman, a former head of the CBC News and now Al-Jazeera English’s managing director, in CBC online:

We’re now seen in more than 180 million households in more than 100 countries. The political baggage that is associated with Al-Jazeera is really limited to the United States and thankfully no longer in Canada. I think the brand of Al-Jazeera is respected around the world…It’s is not obsessed at all with the Middle Eastern stories, as important as they may be. You’ll see Africa, you’ll see North America, you’ll see Asia. You’ll see countries and, dare I say, even continents that are often not even mentioned in North American media today. I think Canada, as one of the most multicultural countries in the world, I think will appreciate that.”

See Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-254, Call for comments on the proposed addition of Al Jazeera English to the lists of eligible satellite services for distribution on a digital basis, May 7, 2009 and the CRTC decision,Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC  2009-725, Addition of Al Jazeera English to the lists of eligible satellite services for distribution on a digital basis, November 26, 2009.

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