TV Answer Man, I heard that DIRECTV is getting rid of Newsmax!! If they do, they might as well say goodbye to me, too! They got rid of OAN and now Newsmax?!!!!! They must be a bunch of elite liberals running the company. I am so angry!! — Daisy, Chincoteague, Virginia.
Daisy, DIRECTV could lose the conservative-leaning Newsmax channel as early as tonight in a carriage row between the companies. (The blackout could also affect U-verse and DIRECTV Stream.)
DIRECTV says Newsmax is now asking for “significant” money to carry it although the channel has permitted the satcaster to offer its signal for free since it was added to its lineup in 2014.
“We deliver Newsmax to our national base of satellite and IPTV customers today at no cost to the programmer or our customers, ultimately offering Newsmax the ability to generate considerable advertising revenue at no cost,” a DIRECTV spokesperson said today in a statement. “We’ve discussed with Newsmax on several occasions that we’d like to offer their programming, however, the network is now seeking significant fees that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base. Additionally, the same programming offered by Newsmax today is already available at no charge to 100% of U.S. households including our customers via NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Google Play.”
Newsmax has not issued a statement on the dispute, but a group of House Republicans is urging DIRECTV to keep the channel. Noting that DIRECTV dropped OAN, another right-leaning news channel, last year, the GOP members say the TV provider is exhibiting a liberal bias.
“Newsmax is one of the most watched cable news channels in America; millions of people turn to Newsmax as a source of trusted information. Now more than ever, the American people need access to a free and fair press,” Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) told the Washington Examiner which first reported on a letter the GOP group sent to DIRECTV. “I am sure that DIRECTV will claim that removing Newsmax from their lineup of channels was purely a business decision, but that is hard to accept when liberal news channels like Vice Media continue to remain on the air. Vice is a ratings failure for DIRECTV, yet they continue to profit from their relationship with DIRECTV.”
Hunt told the Examiner that DIRECTV could remove Newsmax as early as 11:59 p.m. ET tonight. The TV Answer Man will monitor this development and report back here if anything significant changes.
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— Phillip Swann