Al Jazeera English, and Al Jazeera in general, has had an interesting ten years or so. They went from being seen as more or less an enemy of the state, to having the English language version of the channel win two of journalism’s top awards. Will Bunch believes it is now time for Comcast to carry the network (it can be seen online) on its cable service, as does Occupy Philly. But, it seems that Comcast isn’t budging on the issue.
What Comcast is adding, however, are minority-based channels backed by “Magic” Johnson, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and presumably some people who go by their birth names. Here’s how they are laid out:
>>>Diddy’s Revolt, a music based channel that will, “[combine] urban-slanted artists and news with a social networking component” but probably end up showing Teen Mom reruns in 3 years, will launch in 2013.
>>>Magic’s Aspire is, “a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams and will appeal to all generations.”
>>>Director Robert Rodriguez‘s new channel will be called El Ray, which is surpsingly simple for a man whose children are named Racer, Rebel, Rogue, and Rocket. El Ray will be an, “action-packed general entertainment network in English for Latin and general audiences that includes a mix of reality, scripted and animated series, movies, documentaries, news, music, comedy and sports programming.”
And finally, Comcast is launching Streampix, a Netflix-style streaming service for $5 a month (it will also come included in the cost of some cable packages). Streampix will, just like that other service, “deliver movies and full, past seasons of small-screen shows to your TV, computer, iPhone, or iPad.”
So you know, this is basically Comcast saying, “We’re not going to carry Al Jazeera Enlgish, but …” and then jingling keys in our face.