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Accusations fly as Italy loses Current

Current TV founder Al Gore and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation have hurled accusations at each other, as it has emerged that Murdoch's Sky Italia platform has dropped the Gore-backed channel in Italy.
May 20, 2011

Current TV founder Al Gore and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation have hurled accusations at each other, as it has emerged that Murdoch’s Sky Italia platform has dropped the Gore-backed channel in Italy.

In an interview with UK newspaper The Guardian, Gore claimed that Current TV was informed three weeks ago that it could no longer be carried by Sky Italia, primarily “because Current is launching [a new chatshow hosted by] Keith Olbermann next month.”

The former U.S. vice president accused News Corporation of pursuing an “ideological agenda,” on account of Olbermann’s left-leaning political views, and described the move as “an abuse of power.”

However, News Corporation has hit back. In a statement, the company said that the decision to drop Current had “nothing to do with” political views.

“The non-renewal of Current TV’s carriage agreement with Sky Italia is purely commercial,” it said. “Current TV asked Sky Italia for double the carriage fee when primetime viewing had fallen by 40% in the past year. Sky Italia’s offer was in line with the market and reflected the performance of the channel.”

The news comes after it was revealed earlier this month that acclaimed left-leaning documentarians Ken Burns and Michael Moore would be key contributors for Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which launches on Current TV next month.

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