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February 01, 2011

Got Al Jazeera?

Images 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.


Wow, what a stupid comment, even for you.

Yeah, let's encourage more people to sign up for the "Death to Israel and the Zionists" network. What fun.

Journalism largely consists in saying 'Lord Jones Dead' to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.

G.K. Chesterton

Good call Murhp. Why would anyone ever want a different viewpoint than the one that Fox News provides them. Wouldn't you agree that Fox News should be the ONLY news provider in the world?

Speaking of Cable TV... why is it that ATT advertises their U-verse service on 7 Days when it's not available anywhere in Vermont? Talk about missing your target audience.

@ Jeff:

Are you saying that Al Jazeera is THE alternative to Fox? Your retort is not well thought out.

The answer to Fox is not equally radical anti-Fox.

Get a clue.

What are people so scared of, get it out there. What happened to "We Report, You Decide"??

C'mon, fear is no way to enjoy life.

Sure. Anti-Israel and anti-Jewish television. Why not? For that matter, BT should also air Ku Klux Klan-TV. Why not? What are you so scared of? Get it out there. What happened to "we report, you decide"? C'mon, fear of KKK propaganda is no way to enjoy life.

Seven Days readers who live outside of Burlington can still watch Al Jazeera English live online, either directly at Al Jazeera's English-language Web site ( or via the LiveStation media player, which you can download at

Al Jazeera English also has a dedicated YouTube page.

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