DirecTV Resolves Carriage Fight With Newsmax, Ending Two Months Of Media Industry Acrimony That Spilled Into Washington

DirecTV has reached a carriage deal with conservative news outlet Newsmax, ending two months of media industry acrimony that spilled into Washington.

Under the new multi-year deal, Newsmax will return Thursday to DirecTV satellite systems, DirecTV Stream internet bundles and U-verse cable. With about 13 million subscribers, DirecTV is one of the top pay-TV providers in the U.S.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the parties said Newsmax will be available without an additional charge to DirecTV subscribers. A live, linear stream of Newsmax has been available for free on YouTube, a fact DirecTV noted in its public statements objecting to the news outlet’s fee demands, but that feed has been expected to end later this year. Across all of its linear and digital platforms, Newsmax claims reach to 40 million U.S. households.

Related Story

Fox News Attorney Defends Hosts' Post-Election Focus On Dominion, But Judge In Defamation Case Refers To The "Dobbs Problem" – Update

The channel went dark in January, with DirecTV balking at what it called “significant fees” being demanded by Newsmax. The news outlet’s CEO, Chris Ruddy, responded by blasting DirecTV for a “blatant act of political discrimination and censorship,” saying that politics, not economics, was motivating the dispute.

Ruddy is a personal friend of former President Donald Trump and the network has continued to cover Trump’s rallies. It helped advance his widely debunked claims of fraud in the 2020 election process and is among the media companies being sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Systems.

A number of Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX), aligned themselves with Newsmax, attacking DirecTV for an “undemocratic assault on free speech.” The war of words has continued, with many members of the newly Republican-controlled House of Representatives citing the carriage fight as an example of free speech rights being violated.

The official announcement by both companies about the resolution of their dispute chalked it up to a disagreement about financial terms. “Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in the pay TV industry, and often consumers are caught in the middle,” the announcement said. By the companies’ estimate, there have been 140 carriage disputes in the past five years, with DirecTV settling about 50 such fights. Both distributors and programmers face increasing pressure from cord-cutting, as millions of customers leave the pay-TV ecosystem each year. In 2021, AT&T decided to spin DirecTV off into a separate entity in 2021, with private equity firm TPG acquiring a 30% stake in the newly constituted company.

“Newsmax recognizes and appreciates that DirecTV clearly supports diverse voices, including conservative ones,” Ruddy said in a press release, reversing his earlier statements. “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.”

DirecTV CEO Bill Morrow said the resolution “underscores our dedication to delivering a wide array of programming and perspectives to our customers.” He added, “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.”

Must Read Stories

Lisa Joy On Writers Strike; ‘Unorthodox’ Creator & Mediawan Interviews; Protests

Disney Layoff Rounds Likely To Start Before Annual Meeting; Details On Cuts Emerge

‘Smash’ Musical Heading To New York With Steven Spielberg Among Producers

Nominations; Cillian Murphy First Nom For ‘Peaky’; Diversity Deficit

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article