Sling TV returns Al Jazeera to Arabic package

The logo of Al Jazeera. (Logo courtesy Al Jazeera Media Network, Graphic by The Desk)

Dish Network’s streaming television service Sling TV will return the Al Jazeera news channel to its Arabic package for the first time in two years.

The channel was originally offered in the Arabic package until June 2020 when it was dropped by Sling TV due to programming changes at the streaming service.

Since then, it has been one of the most-requested channels among Sling TV’s Arabic user base, enough so that Sling TV executives eventually felt it was worth forging a new carriage agreement to return the channel to the service.

Based in Qatar, Al Jazeera launched on satellite television in the Middle East more than two decades ago. Though it is owned by the Qatari government, officials have largely taken a hands-off approach when it comes to Al Jazeera’s editorial mission, allowing it to produce news with an independent voice in stark contrast to many other government-owned news channels in the region.

It was one of the first satellite news channels to offer opinion-based programming that ran counter to official narratives offered by state governments. For this reason, the channel was initially banned in many Middle Eastern countries, with some governments using local frequency jammers in an attempt to prevent the channel from being watched in their territories.

Despite this, Al Jazeera eventually grew to become the most-watched and most-influential news channel in the Middle East. So it comes as no surprise that Arabic-speaking customers would want the channel on Sling TV alongside other Arabic-language news and entertainment programming.

Sling TV’s Arabic-language package starts at $15 a month for 80 live channels of Arabic content, including BeIN Sports, MBC (Saudi Arabia), Sky News Arabia, the Arab Radio and Television Network (Saudi Arabia, Egypt), Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia) and BBC Arabic. An expanded package with over 130 channels costs $25 a month.

In addition to streaming in Sling TV’s Arabic package, Al Jazeera is available to access for free via YouTube as well as Sling TV’s free tier. An English-language variant of Al Jazeera’s news channel can be streamed for free on YouTube.

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