DirecTV Drops Newsmax

Major television provider DirecTV has dropped conservative news channel Newsmax from its channel lineup over a dispute about carrier fees, a decision the network calls political censorship. DirecTV’s current contract with Newsmax expired Tuesday evening after the company refused to agree to carrier fees proposed by the conservative channel.

DirecTV said in a press statement that it “made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.”

The carrier also attempted to minimize the impact on its customers caused by dropping Newsmax. It said anyone “can watch the network for free via,, and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Google Play.”

DirecTV said it intends to fill the channel that had been used to transmit Newsmax with “new content” to “provide our customers with the most relevant programming.”

Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy had a very different impression of DirecTV’s decision. He alleged the decision to drop his network was based on political bias against conservative news organizations.

Ruddy said: “This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax. The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be de-platformed.”

Newsmax had better ratings than many well-known networks, including the Disney Channel, Fox Business, and the Weather Channel, according to Nielsen Media Research,

Newsmax previously had not asked for fees from viewers to view its streaming service, but that policy is ending this year. Three major cable companies renewed contracts with the conservative network and agreed to a fee structure. Newsmax said its requested fee offered to DirecTV is 75% below market value and that nearly all 50 channels below the network in viewership are paid higher fees.

Last year, DirecTV similarly refused to renew its contract with One America News, another conservative cable news channel championed by President Donald Trump. Conservative DirecTV customers voiced outrage online over the decision.

Former Acting National Intelligence Director Richard Grenell called on viewers to call DirecTV and tell the carrier they will switch providers if they don’t include Newsmax.