Fox News knockoff, Newsmax, has been removed from the DirecTV lineup after contract negotiations reached an impasse.
Though allowed to sell advertising, Newsmax wanted more.
The news outlet’s demand for carriage fees was a point of contention, as DirecTV pointed out.
“On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the Network,” a spokesperson for the satellite provider said. “Ultimately, Newsmax‘s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs.”
Costs that DirecTV claims would have been passed onto its customers.
In an attempt to get in front of the potential de-platforming, Newsmax went on the offensive – accusing the provider of favoring left-wing channels despite lower ratings for some.
Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy publicly condemned DirecTV’s decision.
“Following the cancellation, Ruddy called the move ‘a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax,”‘ The Daily Beast reported.
Relatively unknown during their first six years on the air, Newsmax gained traction for its coverage of the 2020 election and platform for spreading Trump’s “Big Lie” – picking up MAGA viewers disenchanted with Fox News’ seeming lack of loyalty to the ex-president.
Republican legislators have decried DirecTV’s actions.
Members of the GOP allege the satellite provider of deliberately suppressing right-wing voices.
Freshman congressman Wesley Hunt (R-TX) sent a letter — signed by over 40 other House Republicans — to DirecTV accusing the company of violating the First Amendment rights of right-leaning media available on its service.
“Deplatforming Newsmax is the latest development in the Left’s ongoing campaign to purge voices they disagree with from the public sphere,” Rep. Hunt told the Washington Examiner.
“Newsmax is one of the most watched cable news channels in America; millions of people turn to Newsmaxas a source of trusted information,” Rep. Hunt added.
DirecTV has approximately 13.5 million subscribers, and Newsmax averaged 113,000 viewers in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The satellite provider is standing its ground and rejects right-wing insinuations that the company’s decision to sever ties with Newsmax is motivated by politics, rather than simply business interests.
In addition to allowing Newmax to sell advertising, it also receives an additional two minutes of national advertising slots per hour.
DirecTV was willing to keep Newsmax in its lineup under the current deal but refused to pay carriage fees to the news outlet.
Despite cries of being de-platformed and demonetized, Newsmax claims to have 50 million views across multiple platforms.
“The same programming offered by Newsmax today is already available at no charge to 100% of U.S. households,” DirecTV said in defense of not meeting Newsmax‘s compensation demands.
“Including our customers on NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com, and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Google Play,” the provider added.
Rep. Hunt has hinted at a congressional probe into whether DirecTV is intentionally censoring conservative voices.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick