DirecTV has dropped Newsmax costing the conservative outlet a large chunk of its availability after the two sides could not agree on a new fee structure.
The dispute has nothing to do with politics or ideology.
It is all about money. Newsmax wanted a fee increase, which in the era of cord-cutting and declining traditional television viewership was not going to happen.
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DirecTV announced after midnight that they were pulling the plug, “On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.”
Newsmax claims that they are being discriminated against,
“This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax,” Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax said.
“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 added.
This is not the same situation as OAN, which was dropped due to low viewership.
The rate increase, called a carriage fee, is the monthly price every cable or satellite subscriber pays for channels whether they watch them or not.
For example, Fox News has some of the highest carriage fees in all of television. If you hate Fox News but have cable or satellite, you are paying Rupert Murdoch $2 a month. ESPN gets $7.64 a month out of every subscriber whether they watch or not.
These disputes, like the one between DirecTV and Newsmax, are becoming common. It is not unusual for subscribers to turn on a channel to watch one of their favorite shows to be told that the channel is not available due to the network wanting more money.
Newsmax was tied for 72nd in television viewership in 2022. They average 184,000 viewers a day. The audience is not even 10% of Fox News, but since the dispute is about money and not politics, if Newsmax backs off of their demand for a fee increase, they will likely be back on DirecTV at some point.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
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Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association