DirecTV, a subsidiary of AT&T, announced this Wednesday that it would be dropping Newsmax from its lineup of channels. The decision comes after a prolonged dispute between the two companies over the channel’s carriage fee, or the amount that DirecTV pays to carry Newsmax on its service, according to reports.
Newsmax, a conservative cable news channel, has seen a significant increase in viewership in recent months due to its coverage of the 2020 U.S Presidential election. However, the channel has also been criticized for spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about the election.
The decision to drop Newsmax from DirecTV’s lineup was met with mixed reactions. Some praised the move as a necessary step to combat the spread of misinformation, while others criticized it as an infringement on freedom of speech and an example of political bias.
DirecTV cited the high cost of carrying the channel as the primary reason for its decision. In a statement, the company said, “We have a responsibility to our customers to provide them with a wide range of news and information at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, Newsmax’s carriage fee has become too high for us to continue to carry the channel.”
Newsmax, for its part, has condemned the decision, calling it a “blatant attempt to silence conservative voices” and promised to fight the move in court.
It is not yet clear what impact this decision will have on Newsmax’s viewership or if other cable and satellite providers will follow suit.