Al Jazeera has stated that their broadcast signal across the Arab region “is facing interference on a scale they have not experienced before.”
In a press release, the broadcaster claims that “Signals on the Nilesat platform were cut, and frequencies on the Arabsat and Hotbird platforms were disrupted continually forcing millions of viewers across the Arab world to change satellite frequencies throughout the day.”
Over the past week the network has faced multiple attempts to disrupt their coverage from Egypt, with signals being interfered with on a continual basis, and journalists being banned and detained. The latest disruption has come on the day of the historic ‘million man march’ in Cairo.
A spokesman for Al Jazeera said in a statement: “We have been working round the clock to make sure we are broadcasting on alternative frequencies. Clearly there are powers that do not want our important images pushing for democracy and reform to be seen by the public. We appreciate the extraordinary support from the ten channels across the region who interrupted their own programming to live-broadcast our signal to their audiences.”
In The US, where Al Jazeera English is not available on major cable, DTH or IPTV platforms, viewers are accessing the live stream of the broadcaster to follow events in Egypt. The website has hosted 1.6 million live video streams accessed by US internet users. Al Anstey, the network’s general manager, told The New York Times that he hopes the online acceptance of Al-Jazeera by Americans will lead to broader distribution by pay TV outlets in this country: “I sincerely hope now is the turning point.
The past few days, online news channel aggregator Livestation also experienced an unprecedented growth in the number of requested live streams. Jusr in time, Livestation has added Dailymotion as a second platform for its live streaming service.
Google said it has launched a special service to allow people in Egypt to send Twitter messages by dialing a phone number and leaving a voicemail, as Internet access remains cut off in the country amid anti-government protests.