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February 2, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The New York Times has polled the leading cable TV providers in the U.S. about their intent to carry al-Jazeera English in light of its much-praised coverage of the Egyptian protests. Most indicated that they had no plans to do so, but Charter Cable said, “We haven’t had any contact with them in the past week. Over the years we’ve talked to them on occasion, but not on a regular basis.” And Time Warner Cable said, “We remain willing to talk with them, or any other programming provider, for carriage of their network.” Meanwhile, Roku, the company that distributes the cheap players for Netflix’s streaming service and now also has deals with Amazon’s video-on-demand service, Hulu Plus, and MLB.TV, among others, announced Tuesday that it is now offering al-Jazeera English via its dedicated Newscaster Channel. In today’s (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times, TV columnist Mary Murphy wrote that public discussions about the coverage go “beyond the question of whether Al Jazeera English will finally become part of a premium cable package. Never before has civil unrest on this scale been chronicled in real time with such intimate and multi-platform ambition.”