BOSTON: DirecTV plans to drop One America News Network, significantly shrinking the reach of the right-wing TV channel friendly to Donald Trump and widely criticized for spreading misinformation including the former presidents false claim that he won the 2020 election.
The satellite television provider said Saturday that it has informed OANs owner, Herring Networks. Inc., that it will no longer carry 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 informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires, a DirecTV spokesman said in an emailed statement.
The spokesman would not say when the contract expires, but Bloomberg News, which first reported development on Friday, said it expires in early April.
San Diego-based Herring Networks did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Bloomberg said DirecTV is OANs 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 carry OAN.
AT&T has a 70% stake in DirecTV, which has carried OAN since April 2017 after AT&T settled a lawsuit demanding it carry the channels. Herring Networks had claimed AT&T reneged on an agreement to carry OAN on DirecTV, which it acquired in 2015.
OAN became a darling of Trump during his presidency and has continued to report his claim that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him a claim directly contradicted by the facts and exhaustive reporting. It has carried Trump live in post-presidency appearances, its reporters declining to challenge his contrafactual claims.
Dominion Voting Systems sued OAN and other right-wing broadcasters in August, claiming they damaged the election technology company’s business by trumpeting lies spread by Trump adherents that it was complicit in an election-rigging conspiracy.
DirecTV does not provide a breakdown of its subscribers, but AT&T reported that as of the second quarter of 2021 it had a total of 15.4 million paid premium TV subscribers including DirecTV, AT&T U-verse wireline video and the online service AT&T TV.
The paid TV market has been steadily shrinking as more people abandon it for streaming services.
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