February 3, 2023
DirecTV dropped conservative news outlet Newsmax from its channel lineup Wednesday despite pleas from House Republicans who said the action would affect their ability to reach constituents.

DirecTV dropped conservative news outlet Newsmax from its channel lineup Wednesday despite pleas from House Republicans who said the action would affect their ability to reach constituents.

The television provider said the decision came down to Newsmax asking for rate increases, which “would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base,” the Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona reported.

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Baragona shared that the message on the DirecTV channel Newsmax occupied just yesterday read, “DIRECTV STREAM customers can continue to watch Newsmax programming for free by downloading the app via your device’s app store,” with a link included to access more information.

Freshman Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX) said this week that the TV provider’s inability to come to an agreement with Newsmax over cable fees signaled “a political decision to censor conservative media, which is a red flag for the First Amendment.”

Hunt sent a letter exclusively obtained by the Washington Examiner to DirecTV and its owners, AT&T and TPG Capital, co-signed by 41 other Republican lawmakers ahead of the company’s “deplatforming” of Newsmax.

“I am deeply troubled by DirecTV’s decision to remove Newsmax from their lineup of channels,” Hunt said in a statement to the Washington 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.”

Hunt said millions of people turn to Newsmax as a source of trusted information and people need access to a free and fair press. “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,” Hunt added.

DirecTV told the Washington Examiner that it responded to the letter and is working on complying with the lawmakers’ requests.

“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. 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.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Newsmax did not respond to a request for comment. DirecTV said it plans to fill the available channel with new content.

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