DirecTV dropped Newsmax, a conservative-leaning cable news channel, Tuesday night following what the satellite TV provider claimed were failed negotiations regarding fees, a spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base,” a spokesperson for DirecTV told the DCNF.
The satellite TV service dropped One America News Network (OAN) in April 2022, following pressure from liberals, including members of Congress. Republican Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas and 41 other congressional Republicans wrote to DirecTV Friday, urging the company not to drop the network.
DirecTV said OANN was dropped following a “routine internal review” by the satellite TV provider, which accounted for 90% of the conservative network’s revenue, according to Reuters.
“On February 22, 2021, Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to AT&T and DIRECTV encouraging the censorship of conservative television networks One America News Network (OANN), Fox News, and Newsmax,” the Republican representatives said. “Given the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee over your companies’ business interests, it is reasonable to assume you took this letter seriously and complied with these demands.”
The letter noted that DirecTV carried a number of left-leaning networks, including VICE media, and that VICE received higher fees than Newsmax, and warned of oversight hearings should AT&T drop Newsmax.
“Taken together, these two actions lead us to believe that DIRECTV, one of the nation’s largest Multichannel Video Programming Distributors, is actively working to limit conservative viewpoints on its system,” the Republican representatives said.
DirectTV said that the dispute with Newsmax centered over the payment of fees to the network by the satellite TV provider, according to Broadcasting and Cable, claiming that Newsmax did not charge a fee in the past for allowing DirecTV to carry the network.
“Anyone, including our customers, can watch the network for free via NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Google Play,” a DirecTV spokesperson told the DCNF. “We continually evaluate the most relevant programming to provide our customers and expect to fill this available channel with new content.”
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