May 21, 2022

DirecTV is dropping One America News Network, provider says

BOSTON – DirecTV plans to drop One America News Network, dramatically reducing the reach of the right-wing TV channel friends of Donald Trump and widely criticized for broadcasting misinformation, including the former president’s false claim that he won the 2020 elections.

The satellite TV provider said on Saturday it had notified OAN owner Herring Networks. Inc., that it will no longer broadcast its two channels when their contract expires. The other, AWA, is a lifestyle channel. The decision is believed to remove OAN from millions of homes.

“We have advised Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not expect to enter into a new contract upon the expiration of our current agreement,” a DirecTV spokesperson said in an emailed statement. .

The spokesperson did not say when the contract expired, but Bloomberg News, which first reported the development on Friday, said it expired in early April.

San Diego-based Herring Networks did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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Bloomberg said DirecTV is OAN’s largest distributor. On its website, Herring says OAN is carried by Verizon FiOS and several smaller TV providers. It can also be streamed online. Major cable companies, including Comcast and Charter, do not offer OAN.

AT&T has a 70% stake in DirecTV, which has carried OAN since April 2017 after AT&T settled a lawsuit asking it to carry the channels. Herring Networks had claimed AT&T reneged on a deal to carry OAN on DirecTV, which it acquired in 2015.

OAN became a darling of Trump during his presidency and continued to report his claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him – a claim directly contradicted by the facts. and comprehensive reporting. He carried Trump live in post-presidency appearances, his reporters refusing to challenge his counterfactual claims.

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Trump came to OAN’s defense at a Saturday night rally in Arizona, praising the network — ‘I love One America News,’ he said — and threatening to call for a boycott of the parent company from DirecTV, AT&T.

“It’s awful,” Trump said. “It’s a great network. They are great people. I watch it all the time and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics – for purely political reasons. It’s a shame what’s happening.”

He added: ‘But I don’t think people are going to put up with it’ and, noting that the company’s founders were in the crowd, said: ‘Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T.”

Dominion Voting Systems sued OAN and other right-wing broadcasters in August, claiming they had harmed the operations of the election-tech company by trumpeting lies spread by Trump supporters that it was complicit in an election-rigging plot.

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DirecTV does not provide a breakdown of its subscribers, but AT&T reported that in the second quarter of 2021 it had a total of 15.4 million premium pay TV subscribers, including DirecTV, AT&T wireline video U- pays and the AT&T TV online service.

The pay-TV market has been steadily decreasing as more and more people ditch it for streaming services.

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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.

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