It was claimed days ago that Newsmax, one of the few TV media channels that will cover President Donald J. Trump’s rallies, was embroiled in a “standoff with DirecTV” that would likely result in the pay-TV provider deleting the independent news source.
Newsmax and DirecTV were negotiating a new carriage agreement to keep the channel available to 13.5 million subscribers, with a Wednesday midnight Eastern deadline. If a deal cannot be reached, the channel will be removed from DirecTV’s services.
The Boca Raton, Florida-based company is requesting monetary compensation in its new contract. Unlike its relationship with more established news networks like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, DirecTV does not pay a fee to air Newsmax.
According to the LA Times, DirecTV was contesting the need for carriage fees, the expenses of which are typically passed on to the customer.
“Like all pay-TV providers, DirecTV is contending with a shrinking customer base as more people forgo traditional TV subscriptions for streaming services. Cost is often a consideration when cutting the cord.
According to media sources, DirecTV has no intention of changing its no-compensation policy, mostly since Newsmax programming is accessible for free as a streaming app and an ad-supported streaming TV channel carried by Roku, Pluto TV, and other platforms.
Live viewing of the three main cable news channels requires a membership to pay television.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “Additionally, the same programming offered by Newsmax today is already available at no charge to 100% of U.S. households including our customers.”
The LA Times article went on to describe how Direct TV was competing with other “right-wing” newsgroups:
Newsmax did not comment on the negotiations, but according to people familiar with the discussions, the network is apparently willing to discontinue streaming for free once pay TV operators agree to pay a carriage fee.
“We expect DirecTV, and its majority owner AT&T, to treat Newsmax on a fair and equitable basis in relation to all of the channels it carries, especially after both companies de-platformed OAN last year,” a representative for the company said in a statement.
DirecTV was in a similar battle with the San Diego-based right-wing outlet One America News, which was dropped earlier this year because of scant viewership.”
In Washington, D.C., the pattern of difficulties with “right-wing” stations became apparent.
Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) and dozens of other Republican legislators alleged in a letter that DirecTV is attempting to silence conservative views while continuing to provide low-rated left-leaning channels. The letter uses Vice, which is not a news station, as one example.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
“If Newsmax is removed from DirecTV, in less than a year House Republicans will have lost two of the three cable news channels that reach conservative voters on a platform that primarily serves conservatives. CONTINUE READING…