OAN Sophia Flores
UPDATED 5:37 PM PT – Thursday, January 26, 2023
DirecTV has dropped Newsmax, a right-wing television network, from its lineup. This is the second conservative news network to be dropped by the company. One America News was deplatformed by DirecTV in April 2022.
The satellite company claimed that they cancelled Newsmax due to the high rates that the conservative company was charging.
“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 representative for DirecTV said.
However, Newsmax the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, said that DirecTV’s claim that both their channel and One America News were removed as a “cost-cutting measure” is not entire truth.
Newsmax was only seeking $1 a year per cable subscriber. This is a significantly smaller price compared to liberal news outlets that the company airs. DirecTV pays MSNBC $8 per cable subscriber and they pay CNN around $12. Most of the 22 liberal news channels that they provide make more than Newsmax, even ones with much lower ratings.
The CEO of Newsmax, Christopher Ruddy, referred to the cancelation as a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.”
Conservative leaders are outraged by the censorship. 45th President Donald J. Trump took to Truth Social to share his feelings.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) said that there are not fair opportunities for right-leaning networks.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) encouraged conservatives to call the satellite provider demanding that the company stops conservative censorship.
Representative Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) called the cancelation an “unprecedented assault on free speech.”
Many members of Congress, including Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), came together to write a letter to AT&T, DirectTV and TPG executives stating that they were “deeply concerned about this un-democratic assault on free speech.”
In the past, powerful politicians in Washington have written to DirecTV demanding for the censorship of conservatives.
In February 2021, prior to the cancellation of both OAN and Newsmax, Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Jerr McNerney (D-Calif.) wrote to DirecTV encouraging the censorship of the conservative media.
At the time, the two representatives served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee and on the Communication and Technology Subcommittee. In their letter, they alluded that the right wing media is full of disinformation and half-truths.
The last question in their letter asked “Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax and OANN on U-Verse, DirecTV and AT&T TV both now and beyond any contract renewal date? If so, why?”
The move to deplatform Newsmax will affect many. According to Nielsen ratings, Newsmax is a top 16 channel for daytime among all cable channels and is watched by 25 million Americans.