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Israel removes cnn cable programming

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Last Update: 01/08/2002 16:26

Cable companies get authorization to remove CNN from their programming
By Anat Balint, Ha'aretz Correspondent

The Satellite and Cable Commission decided Thursday to allow Israeli cable companies to remove CNN from their programming. The decision was approved by a large majority, following a stormy discussion on the issue.

The central argument for the deciison was the availability of three foreign news networks other than CNN: BBC, Fox News and Sky News.

About a week ago, three cable companies filed separate requests to the Commission to end the CNN broadcasts. The cable companies wrote that they were unable to reach an agreement with CNN on payment rates for the news broadcasts.

The current contract btween CNN and the cable companies will end in November, but for the last eight months the two sides were unable to reach an agreement on a new contract.

CNN: Cable companies exploiting political situation
A senior CNN official harshly criticized the cable companies' tactics in the negotiations, which he said included attacks on the network's coverage of Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians, while taking advantage of the sensitive political situation.

Prior to the Commission's decision, the official said that the cable companies were given "a very fair offer at a rate we didn't make available anywhere else in the world."

CNN is currently a part of the cable companies' basic programming package which every subscriber receives without paying extra fees. A few weeks ago, some cable companies began broadcasting Fox News, a competitor of CNN.

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