Arabic news channel Al Jazeera has been removed today from the Sky EPG line-up at the “broadcaster’s request”, reports SkyDigiOnline.co.uk. A Sky spokesman confirmed to SkyDigiOnline that Al Jazeera had made this request and there was no other reason for the removal. The channel, which had been broadcasting on EPG 799, is expected to launch its English speaking news channel in the next few weeks.
Andy Sennitt comments: This may be a way of getting round the problem of the long wait for an EPG slot on Sky. The Arabic service was originally part of an Arabic-language subscription package. When that was scrapped, Al Jazeera remained on the Sky platform as a free-to-air service, but because it’s in Arabic only the UK audience must have been very small. I would not be surprised to see the new English service, which has been putting out promotional tests off the EPG for many months now, appear on EPG 799, although Al Jazeera would presumably prefer in due course to be on an EPG number in the 500’s, which is where the other 24-hour news channels are.