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Cable operators add channels for war news

Iraq event revolutionizes terrestrial webs' news ratings

MADRID — Spanish cable operators ONO and Retecal have added Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera and pubcaster RTVE’s round-the-clock news web TVE Canal 24 Horas, to their basic feeds to satisfy auds’ desire for news as the war in Iraq continues.

The war has also revolutionized terrestrial webs’ news ratings.

Telecinco’s 2:30 p.m. newscast, which begins 30 minutes before rivals and is praised for its independence, is closing ratings on TVE 1’s newscast, traditionally the most-watched and most pro-government.

On Friday, TVE 1’s newscast scored a 26.9% share against Telecinco’s 24.1%.

Much of the Spanish media has dismissed U.S, British and Iraqi news coverage as propaganda.

“There’s more truth in ‘The Pianist’ than a newscast,” Spain’s most-read quality daily El Pais declared Sunday, after running an interview with Diyar Al Oman, Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in Baghdad.

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