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DirecTV is dropping conservative cable network Newsmax as early as Tuesday night, according to Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX).
At least 42 House Republicans sent a letter to AT&T and TPG Capital, which owns DirecTV, urging the company to reconsider the decision to deplatform Newsmax over cable fees, the Washington Examiner reports.
“They’re concerned Newsmax is going to be more powerful than Fox News,” national radio host Todd Starnes said.
“I am deeply troubled by DirecTV’s decision to remove Newsmax from their lineup of channels,” Hunt told the Examiner. “Deplatforming Newsmax is the latest development in the Left’s ongoing campaign to purge voices they disagree with from the public sphere. This decision by DirecTV and TPG Capital will cut off tens of millions of viewers who rely on Newsmax for their news and information.”
“Newsmax is one of the most watched cable news channels in America; millions of people turn to Newsmax as a source of trusted information. Now more than ever, the American people need access to a free and fair press,” he continued. “I am sure that DirecTV will claim that removing Newsmax from their lineup of channels was purely a business decision, but that is hard to accept when liberal news channels like Vice Media continue to remain on the air. Vice is a ratings failure for DirecTV, yet they continue to profit from their relationship with DirecTV.”
The GOP representatives pointed out that Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee previously urged TV carriers to drop Newsmax, Fox News, and One America News Network, which was dropped by DirectTV in April 2022.
“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 conservative-leaning areas of the country,” the letter continued.
The lawmakers requested that DirecTV “provide to us the ratings for each of the networks noted above, with comparison data, including set-top box data, on all the other networks that are carried by DIRECTV, and the corresponding fees paid by your company to these networks.”
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DirecTV told the Examiner they are complying with the lawmakers’ requests and have responded to the letter.
“We deliver Newsmax to our national base of satellite and IPTV customers today at no cost to the programmer or our customers, ultimately offering Newsmax the ability to generate considerable advertising revenue at no cost,” a DirecTV spokesperson said in a statement. “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 cannot pass on to our broad customer base. Additionally, the same programming offered by Newsmax today is already available at no charge to 100% of U.S. households including our customers via NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Google Play.”
READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW: