There’s a “90% chance” Newsmax, a conservative-leaning cable news channel, will be “de-platformed’ by DirecTV as soon as Tuesday night, Fox Business host Charlie Gasparino reported, citing people close to the network.
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.
“People close to @NEWSMAX say there’s a 90% chance channel is de-platformed by @DIRECTV tonight, 2nd conservative-leaning network to go dark on carrier setting up a political battle w GOP congress & possibly @realDonaldTrump w DTV’s owners @ATT & TPG Cap.,” Gasparino posted on Twitter Tuesday.
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.
SCOOP: People close to @NEWSMAX say there’s a 90% chance channel is de-platformed by @DIRECTV tonight, 2nd conservative-leaning network to go dark on carrier setting up a political battle w GOP congress & possibly @realDonaldTrump w DTV’s owners @ATT & TPG Cap. 345 @FoxBusiness
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) January 24, 2023
“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.
Newsmax and DirecTV did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.