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Middle East
'Jordan jammed Al Jazeera signal'
A British newspaper found evidence tracing the jamming of World Cup games in the Middle East to a source in Jordan.
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2010 14:28 GMT

Fresh allegations have emerged over the jamming of Al Jazeera Sport's signal during the South Africa World Cup in June. 

The Guardian has reported on Thursday that it has obtained evidence showing that Jordan is the party behind the jamming, which frustrated thousands of Al Jazeera subscribers last June.

The Jordanian government has flatly dismissed the accusation that it jammed the football transmission.

“The Jordanian government categorically denies allegations made by unnamed sources to the Guardian newspaper that it was behind the  jamming of Al Jazeera broadcast of the World Cup," a government official told AFP.

"These allegations are absolutely baseless and unacceptable," the official said on condition of anonymity.

“The government is ready to cooperate with any team of independent experts to examine the facts, and is certain that any such examination will prove these allegations false."

Britain's Guardian daily reported that the jamming was "traced to Jordan, which appears to have retaliated angrily after the collapse of a deal that would have allowed football fans there free access to the matches."

"Secret documents seen exclusively by the Guardian trace five episodes of jamming definitively to a location near Salt in Jordan, northeast of the capital Amman, confirmed by technical teams using geolocation technology," the newspaper wrote.


The Jordanian official rejected "speculations" about a deal with Al Jazeera.

"Four days before the kick off of the matches, Al Jazeera made an offer, demanding eight million dollars for the broadcast rights of 20 games of its choosing, and over 50,000 dollars for the broadcast on each screen that would have been placed in underprivileged areas," he said.

"The government did not accept the offer because it believed it was made too late and the matches offered by Al Jazeera did not  justify the cost."

Al Jazeera had exclusive pay-TV rights to broadcast World Cup matches across the Middle East from North Africa to Iran.

The jamming has infuriated millions of Al Jazeera’s subscribers, when transmission suddenly turned to blank screens, pixelated images or commentary in the wrong languages during the opening match.

Al-Jazeera has revolutionised the Arabic-language media and reporting on the Middle East since its foundation in 1996, but often at the expense of angering many Arab governments, including that of  Jordan.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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