Since January 24th at midnight, DirecTV has no longer carried Newsmax TV (or its DirecTV Stream or AT&T U-verse). Although DirecTV claims that carriage fees are at fault, the conservative-leaning cable news network does not buy this explanation.
In a statement released to IndieWire on Wednesday, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy called the ban “a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.” The most liberal channels, regardless of their low viewership, receive compensation from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN should be removed from the service.
Even though AT&T owns a majority stake in DirecTV, the company removed the pro-Trump OAN (One America News) channel from its lineup in April of this year. Even that one was the final piece of a carriage trade.
OAN accused AT&T of engaging in partisan politics, just as Newsmax TV has done recently. The parent company of OAN even went to court to try to get AT&T to reverse its decision not to renew the channel, but a judge in San Diego threw out the case.
Newsmax wrote on Wednesday that it is “seeking a fee with a 75% discount to its market value” because, “compared to fees currently paid by DirecTV, almost all 50 channels below Newsmax in ratings get higher fees.”
The Split With Newsmax, Like The Previous OAN Deal, Was Cited By DirecTV As A Business Decision
A spokesperson for DirecTV said in a statement provided to IndieWire, “We made it clear to Newsmax on multiple occasions 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.”
During the year 2014, DirecTV added both Newsmax TV and OAN to its lineup. When asked for comment on Newsmax’s claims regarding the correlation between the company’s requested fees and TV ratings, the satellite TV provider did not immediately respond to IndieWire.
Let’s put aside the arguing and take a look at the actual numbers. Midway through December, IndieWire released its annual rankings of all 126 cable channels based on their average viewership from the beginning of 2022.
According to Nielsen’s Live + Same Day ratings, Newsmax TV ranked 56th in primetime (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) (a data set that, if anything, disproportionately helps news programming). Thus, Newsmax was ranked lower than BBC America and Disney Junior and higher than the NFL Network and Science Channel.
In the company of other 24-hour cable news networks Not only did Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN all rank in the top ten, but so did Nexstar’s NewsNation, which likes to think of itself as the “down the middle” cable news channel. In that case, yes, things could be worse.
After Dumping Newsmax, DirecTV Will Add The First Conservative Network
After a dispute that angered Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill caused DirecTV to drop Newsmax, the company announced it would be adding the conservative channel The First to its lineup.
Subscribers to DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-verse will be able to watch The First, which features hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Dana Loesch, at no additional cost. Up until now, its only method of distribution was via streaming, which includes FAST networks.
Newsmax has been taken off DirecTV at the same time as the announcement. The AT&T and TPG private equity-owned satellite service claimed that the conservative network Newsmax was dropped because it insisted on charging “significant fees” to be carried. DirecTV claims that it would have to charge customers for those costs.
When asked about the company’s commitment to diversity, DirecTV’s chief content officer, Ron Thun, said in a statement that the company “values different viewpoints and perspectives and will always work to preserve expansive choice among a wide variety of entertainment and information services to appeal to the unique tastes and interests of our diverse customer base.
“As we’ve done with other new media, we’re excited to assist The First in further expanding its audience reach while maintaining our commitment to providing exceptional value to our patrons.
Why Newsmax Was Dropped By DirecTV
Newsmax’s broadcast on DirecTV ended at 11:59 p.m. ET on January 24 due to an unresolved dispute over a new contract. Both parties have offered their own explanations for why the news channel was cut.
While DirecTV would have liked to keep carrying Newsmax, the network said that Newsmax required a fee to supplement its advertising revenue, just like other major news networks. Channel and a group of Republican lawmakers have claimed they were discriminated against because of their political leanings.
“We made it clear to Newsmax on multiple occasions that we wanted to continue to offer the network,” a spokesperson for DirecTV said in a statement. But ultimately, Newsmax’s rate increase demands would have resulted in significantly higher costs that we would have had to pass on to our large customer base.
In addition, the business stated that Newsmax would still be available for no cost via its own website, YouTube, and other streaming services. Given that the slot previously occupied by Newsmax has become vacant, it plans to replace Newsmax with another channel.
Newsmax, according to DirecTV, is “distributed online on popular streaming platforms for free, including to viewers who do not have a Pay TV subscription.”Newsmax proposes to change this model,” DirecTV said to the Republicans. “That is, it has effectively threatened to stop broadcasting its current channel to the 55 million US households that do not have a Pay TV service unless DirecTV and the other Pay TV operators pay it the fees it wants.
Meaning that 55 million US households would need a Pay TV subscription to continue receiving Newsmax as it is now. Who is responsible for de-platforming in this new model? Most definitely not DirecTV.”No TV service providers had agreed to pay for the channel until very recently, which appears to be confirmed by the Newsmax article accusing DirecTV of censorship. What was written there was as follows: