The Conservative-leaning cable news channel, Newsmax, was dropped from DirecTV early Wednesday morning after the two companies failed to come to terms on a new carriage deal.
Newsmax is seeking a carriage fee under this new deal, which it does not currently have with DirectTV. The carriage fee being sought is similar to what DirecTV has with the other prominent cable news networks like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
According to Justin Baragona from The Daily Beast, DirecTV is not budging on this issue, saying that it wanted to continue to offer the network, but as a result of Newsmax’s demands for rate increases, it would have led to significantly higher costs, which would have been passed on to DirecTV’s broad customer base.
They added that the network is still available to watch for free via NewmaxTV.com, YouTube, and multiple streaming platforms.
In response to this, Newsmax, in a statement, says that the network is the 4th highest-rated cable news channel, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone.
It added that DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and that all these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than what Newsmax was seeking.
Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, says, “This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.”
It should be noted DirecTV does not pay carriage fees to up-and-coming TV channels seeking a wider audience, which is what it viewed Newsmax as.
The news channel, which launched in 2014, has a pay subscriber reach of approximately 50 million homes and stands to lose 13.5 million of those as a result of being dropped by DirecTV.
Newsmax added Greta Van Susteren to its weeknight lineup last year, making her the centerpiece of what had been a conservative-leaning programming lineup, which also includes former Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former Fox News host Eric Bolling.