Thursday, January 14, 2016

Peyton Manning takes swipe at Al Jazeera America closing

If anyone was upset by news that cable news channel Al-Jazeera America was closing after only two years, Peyton Manning was definitely not one of them.

The Denver Broncos quarterback — who was linked to a banned human growth hormone by the network last month — made light of the announcement that Al Jazeera will soon shut down after failing to attract a wide enough audience in the US.

"I'm sure it's just devastating to all their viewers," Manning sneered at a press conference in Colorado Wednesday.

And with good reason.

The fledgling news outlet  aired a documentary, The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers, and reported that Manning ordered shipments of HGH which were shipped to his wife Ashley while he was rehabilitating from a neck injury in 2011.

The 39-year-old Manning has vehemently denied Al Jazeera's accusations and denounced the report as "complete garbage" before threatening to sue the network.

Manning did miss the entire 2011 season as he was undergoing career-saving neck surgeries leading to his departure from the Indianapolis Colts before rebounding to a successful run in Denver.

In October 2013, the channel was launched after opening 12 bureaus in the United States and a state-of-the art studio in New York — backed by a $500 million investment.

However it had trouble persuading cable and satellite companies to carry it, and only had about 30,000 viewers in prime-time. 

A spokesman for Al Jazeera — which is owned by the Quatari royal family — told The Washington Post that news of the closure will not affect the department that reported the alleged doping scandal.

So far, nothing has come from the allegations and it doesn't sound like Peyton is too worried about them anyway.

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