For the second time in three months, social media sites are overflowing with angry comments from DIRECTV subscribers who say the satellite TV service has removed One America News Network (OANN) from their lineups.
However, the satcaster has not dropped the conservative news channel, which has become a favorite of President Trump. The confusion seems to have been triggered by DIRECTV ending a free preview of OANN in some less-expensive and/or older programming packages, such as DIRECTV Family. (However, some subscribers say the channel has been removed from packages that are supposed to include OANN. See our update below.)
The free preview ended July 20, but for reasons unclear, the uproar on social media didn’t begin until two days ago. Many upset subscribers are saying DIRECTV ‘dropped’ OANN because it wants to suppress conservative viewpoints; others believe it did so because DIRECTV’s owner, AT&T, owns CNN, a rival news network.
AT&T owns CNN. Need I say more?
— 💥robg💥🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🍎🏋️♂️👑💥💥💥 (@reubing) August 1, 2020
— Tracy B 🇺🇸 (@TLB2889) August 2, 2020
— SugarPlum (@oxoshellyoxo) August 1, 2020
The ending of a free OANN preview last May led to a similar mistaken belief that DIRECTV had dropped the channel.
“Well you all I had OAN on my direct tv for a long time. I went to turn it on and they cut it off…..the only channel speaking truth. Now they want me to purchase it for more money. Time to ditch Direct TV!,” tweeted @sherryhotton123 on May 19.
However, OANN CEO Robert Herring soon offered an explanation.
“Due to COVID-19, with many Americans sheltering and home, the cable companies, including DIRECTV, have provided FREE extended PREVIEWS of a number of channels, including OAN,” Herring told TheWrap.com. “DIRECTV was offering a number of channels for free to customers that generally don’t receive the programming. Kudos to DIRECTV for providing free programming to its customers.”
Herring added he expected DIRECTV to begin a new free preview of OANN, which the satcaster did. But the discontinuation of the second free preview has now apparently caused another social media storm.
Update: Some DIRECTV subscribers have posted messages on social media sites saying they had to call DIRECTV to restore OANN in their lineups. If you think OANN is supposed to be in your programming package (and not just by a free preview), call DIRECTV’s customer service. The channel has not been removed from the satcaster’s lineup.
The TV Answer Man has asked AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, for an explanation and will report back here if we get more information.
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— Phillip Swann