By Allum Bokhari
DirecTV, the video programming platform owned by AT&T, suspended service to Newsmax today, cutting the conservative cable channel off from millions of American households. Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, blasted the decision as a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship.”
This comes as AT&T and other cable providers are under scrutiny for censoring One America News (OAN), in 2022.
DirecTV Reportedly Refused to Air Advertising for ‘Rigged’ Documentary: ‘Woke Political Censorship,’ Says Citizens United
DirecTV Reportedly Refused to Air Advertising for ‘Rigged’ Documentary: ‘Woke Political Censorship,’ Says Citizens United (iStock / Getty Images Plus)
AT&T CEO John Stankey
attends AT&T’s celebration of the Launch of DIRECTV NOW at Venue 57 on November 28, 2016 in New York City. (Dave Kotinsky / Getty)
AT&T said it made the decision for “cost-cutting” reasons, despite paying out massive sums in cable licensing fees to leftist channels with lower ratings. AT&T claimed in a statement that Newsmax is available to watch for free on both YouTube and NewsmaxTV.com.
Despite Newsmax being the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a “cost-cutting” measure and would never pay Newsmax a cable license fee.
DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries. Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax.
Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, blasted the decision as a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship.”
“The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed,”
OAN was canceled by both Verizon’s Fios and AT&T’s DirecTV last year following pressure from Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), then members of the majority on the powerful House Energy & Commerce committee, which oversees the FCC, a critical regulatory body for cable and internet providers. In their letter to cable providers, the Democrat politicians urged cable providers to drop OAN and Newsmax, as well as Fox News.
With Republicans now in control of the House, there is a burgeoning effort to investigate the Democrat-led effort to suppress conservative TV channels, part of the left’s wider embrace of censorship.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.