Nearly two months after it was dropped by DirecTV and launched a political firestorm, Newsmax is back on the pay-TV distributor’s line-up.
The two companies came to terms on a new carriage deal that sees Newsmax returning to DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-verse starting on March 23, 2023.
“Newsmax recognizes and appreciates that DirecTV clearly supports diverse voices, including conservative ones,” said Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy. “As a standalone company, DirecTV helped give Newsmax its start nearly a decade ago as it continues to do with upcoming news networks, which is why we are pleased to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will deliver our network to DirecTV, DirectTV Stream, and U-verse customers over the next several years.”
“This resolution with Newsmax, resolving an all-too-common carriage dispute, underscores our dedication to delivering a wide array of programming and perspectives to our customers,” said DirecTV CEO Bill Morrow. “Through our persistent negotiations, we reached a resolution under mutually-agreeable business terms allowing us to deliver the conservative news network at the right value – a reflection of the free market at work.”
There are no additional details on what type of agreement was reached. Still, the pleasantries exchanged by the two parties hide the contentious battles that took place within the last two months after Ruddy and DirecTV introduced politics to a typical business disagreement.
Newsmax was looking at getting a carriage fee, which it did not have with DirecTV. The carriage fee being sought is similar to what DirecTV has with the other prominent cable news networks like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
DirecTV’s refusal to offer it a carriage fee sparked accusations of, according to Ruddy, “a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.”
In turning up the heat against DirecTV, Ruddy enlisted the help of GOP Senators and other conservative figures, including former president Donald Trump who all put their weight behind Newsmax.
DirecTV stood its ground, saying it does not pay carriage fees to up-and-coming TV channels seeking a wider audience, which is what it viewed Newsmax as.
According to live plus same day data from Nielsen, Newsmax averaged 178,000 total primetime viewers in 2022, placing No. 57 overall on basic cable and behind Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, HLN, and CNBC. The channel averaged 120,000 viewers in total day in 2022, No. 52 on basic cable behind Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, HLN, and CNBC.