(RightIsRight.co) – DirecTV, AT&T’s video programming platform, has axed conservative channel Newsmax, the second such move in less than a year after it removed “One America News” (OAN).
DirecTV’s decision has made Newsmax TV unavailable to millions of American households. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy blasted the move as a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship.”
In 2022, AT&T’s DirectTV and other cable providers suspended service to conservative TV OAN after massive pressure from leftist advocacy groups.
Upon launching in 2014, Newsmax was available to 35 million satellite subscribers, including through DirecTV. By 2019, it was reaching 75 million cable subscribers.
DirecTV presently stands at an estimated 13.5 million subscribers after losing some 400,000 in the last quarter of 2022.
AT&T put out a statement justifying its subsidiary DirecTV’s suspension of Newsmax with “cost-cutting” needs.
However, it is still “paying out massive sums in cable licensing fees to leftist channels” whose ratings are lower, Breitbart News reported.
AT&T also claimed that Newsmax could be watched for free on NewsmaxTV.com and YouTube.
In reporting the news about its suspension by DirecTV, Newsmax pointed out that it is the “4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone,” according to Nielsen data.
“DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries,” Newsmax said.
“Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax,” the TV channel added.
Its CEO Christopher Ruddy also stated that DirecTV’s decision made no economic sense and was designed to censor conservative news coverage and views.
“The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed,” Ruddy declared.
The Breitbart report stressed that OAN was canceled last year by both Verizon’s Fios and AT&T’s DirecTV due to pressure from Democrat US Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California.
At the time, Eshoo and McNerney represented the Democrat majority on the “powerful” House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the cable and internet providers’ regulator, the FCC.
The Democrat legislators sent a letter to the cable providers insisting that they drop OAN, Newsmax, and Fox News.
As the GOP already controls the US House of Representatives, many House Republicans reportedly support an investigation into Democrat efforts to censor conservative TV channels through a crackdown on cable providers.
Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, blasted the decision as a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship.” https://t.co/9JEdE0YtDC
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 25, 2023