One America News was officially removed from DirecTV because the broadcaster resisted Republican pressure to keep the right-wing network in its programming. A DirecTV spokesman confirmed to Ars today that the channel’s removal went ahead as planned.
OAN’s future is in doubt as the network’s owner said losing the DirecTV deal could force the company to shut down. DirecTV had previously informed users that OAN would be leaving DirecTV’s satellite programming and online service DirecTV Stream after April 4th. The removal also affected A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE), another channel owned by OAN parent company Herring Networks.
DirecTV announced it would not renew its carriage deal with OAN after advocacy groups suggested that OAN was “a key supporter of the stop-the-steal movement,” “spreading voter fraud lies claiming the 2020 election was Donald.” Trump been stolen,” “Stok[ed] violent calls to attack the US Capitol” and broadcasts “wall to wall of COVID-19 disinformation”. AT&T and other broadcasters on why they run OAN, Newsmax, and Fox News.
DirecTV has since expanded its deal with Fox by offering Fox Nation streaming as a premium add-on. When asked if Newsmax would keep it, DirecTV told Ars, “As with every network in our lineup, we will evaluate and make decisions as we near expiration of each deal.” The DirecTV spokesperson also said, “It’s standing not at liberty to indicate the expiry date of the contract [with Newsmax].”
OAN sued DirecTV and AT&T
Herring Networks sued DirecTV and majority owner AT&T on March 7 for alleged breach of contract and other violations. One of OAN’s allegations is that AT&T and DirecTV breached a confidentiality provision in their contract by revealing the April 2022 expiration date to the press.
OAN’s primary breach of contract claim is far-fetched given that DirecTV did not prematurely terminate the contract of carriage. The TV provider announced in January: “We have informed you [OAN owner] Herring Networks that after a routine internal review, we do not intend to enter into a new deal when our current deal expires,” and then shut down the channel when the deal expired this week.
AT&T spun DirecTV into a separate company last year, but still owns 70 percent of it.
Herring’s lawsuit stated, “OAN and AWE could be forced off the air because Herring can no longer broadcast OAN and AWE on DirecTV and Herring currently has limited alternative transportation options.” OAN’s website says the network is getting still based on Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink and smaller providers. OAN also sells online subscriptions directly to consumers for $5 per month.
In a 2020 court filing, an OAN accountant testified that the deal with AT&T and DirecTV accounted for 90 percent of Herring Networks’ revenue, according to Reuters. “Without the deal with DirecTV, the accountant said under oath, the value of the network would be ‘zero,'” the article reads.
Republican corporations pressured DirecTV to keep OAN
Following DirecTV’s announcement in January, OAN host Dan Ball urged viewers to dig up “dirt” on AT&T CEO William Kennard and to “call AT&T’s support hotline on the phone, blow up the phone lines, demand that they OAN.” keep it – that’s censorship at its best.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and five other Republican attorney generals last month asked DirecTV to reverse its decision, claiming that “your failure to do so will not only result in you losing millions of dollars in business, but.” also will make tens of millions of Americans just quit your services immediately, as President Trump and other leaders have already urged.
Another letter from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey accused DirecTV of backing down in front of Democratic congressmen, citing Eshoo and McNerney’s letter. “The last thing our country needs right now is corporate censorship of conservative voices at the behest of congressmen and others who want to cut off debate by limiting the reach of those who disagree,” Morrisey wrote.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) also urged DirecTV to keep OAN, saying, “The lack of transparency among Montana viewers of OAN in your decision-making process is unacceptable and appears to be based on supporters.” of former President Donald Trump.”