Citing financial reasons, the Kuwaiti government took Al-Watan, Al-Watan Plus and Al-Watan Ghanawi off the air on Thursday. The decision comes just five months after the government revoked the license for Al-Watan newspaper for the same reason.
However, some are skeptical of the "financial" reasons.
Privately owned by former oil minister Sheikh Ali Khalifa Al Sabah, a member of the ruling family, and managed by his son Sheikh Khalifa, the channels and the newspaper were known for being critical of the government. Last year, the newspaper was suspended for two weeks following a report on audio tapes that revealed a plot to overthrow Kuwait's ruler.
According to Khaleej Times, the decision to cancel the television channels came after they apparently lost most of their capital. However, although Kuwait has several daily newspapers that are routinely critical of the government, criticizing the hereditary dynasty is particularly sensitive according to Reuters .
As the owners of the channel are members of the ruling family, could the cancellation be part of some broader family feud? Iftar might be a little awkward this year.
The cancellation came less than a week after an announcement by Kuwait's Information Ministry that it would ease censorship of locally produced television series.