One America News Network, the far-right cable channel that continues to boost former President Donald Trump’s election lies, has been removed from DirecTV, one of the largest American TV providers, following pushback over its increasingly conspiratorial coverage, reports said.
OAN will cease to broadcast on DirecTV when the network’s contract expires in April, Bloomberg reported. The provider informed OAN’s parent company, Herring Networks Inc., of its decision this week, announcing that it will also cut off service for one of Herring’s other channels, called “A Wealth of Entertainment” or AWE.
“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,” DirecTV said in a statement to Bloomberg News.
DirecTV is by far the right-wing network’s largest distributor. It will still be carried on smaller pay-TV providers like Verizon FiOS — as well as a relatively obscure streaming service called KlowdTV — but the abrupt cessation of OAN’s DirecTV contract is sure to deal a major blow to the network. It’s never been carried by any of the three other major American TV providers: Comcast Corp., Charter Communications Inc. or Dish Network Corp.
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OAN is jointly owned by AT&T and the investment firm TPG, an unusual arrangement that came under heavy scrutiny after a bombshell Reuters report last year revealing AT&T’s ownership stake and overwhelming financial support. AT&T also owns a majority stake in DirecTV, which provides the vast majority of OAN’s revenue. At one point, Reuters reported, an accountant for the network testified under oath that the network’s value “would be zero” without its deal with DirecTV.
In recent months, calls from critics for AT&T and DirecTV to sever their arrangements with OAN reached a fever pitch.
“OANN has the right to air whatever content it chooses,” a letter led by the nonprofit Free Press and signed by 16 other groups reads. “However, AT&T’s support for OANN runs contrary to its public commitment to equality given OANN’s role in funding and promoting anti-democratic policies as well as its track record of providing a platform for disinformation and calls for acts of violence that undermine trust in our institutions.”
“OANN is a major supporter of the Stop the Steal movement and is currently being sued by Dominion for spreading election fraud lies that claimed the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump,” the letter continues. “OANN has provided ongoing coverage of ‘fraudulent’ results and played a role in fomenting the Jan. 6 deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. OANN is continuing to run content that spreads election disinformation and seeks to cast doubt over the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
OAN is certainly not the only network to be dropped by its provider recently — DirecTV and other pay-TV companies have been dropping channels from their offerings for years to lower costs as they battle competition from streaming services and other online content providers.
Read more stories like this:
- Coalition demands AT&T sever ties with pro-Trump “propaganda channel” OANN
- Rats, ship: Even far-right channel Newsmax is cutting ties with Mike Lindell
- OAN must pay Rachel Maddow $250K in legal fees after failed libel lawsuit
Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.