In a move that shocked many, Newsmax has been deplatformed by DirecTV. This comes following another controversial move by DirecTV to deplatform OAN in April of 2022. The move by DirecTV has angered many Republicans, and Newsmax is looking to fight back by seeking a Congressional hearing about the alleged censorship by DirecTV, as they’ve never sought to remove liberal-leaning networks such as CNN, MNSBC, ABC, or other mainstream and liberal-leaning outlets.
Newsmax, previous to the move by DirecTV, was available to over 50-70 million houseolds across the United States, and was typically the only news network to stream full Trump rallies. While Truth Social was speculated to eventually also stream Trump’s rallies as well, Newsmax up until this point had the privilege that even Fox News didn’t have. Many have gone on to speculate that the massive audiences that Newsmax was able to accumulate during Trump rallies were a major reason why DirecTV may have decided to deplatform Newsmax.
With this move by DirecTV, Newsmax is now seeking a Congressional hearing to investigate their alleged censorship of conservative-leaning news networks. The company has argued that removing just one conservative outlet would constitute censorship and that other outlets such as CNN, ABC, and MSNBC are being given preferential treatment when it comes to airing political content.
In addition, Newsmax is also focusing on its digital expansion plans, which would make it easier for viewers to access their content online, in an effort to reach a larger audience. To expand their influence even further, the company has recently partnered with streaming services such as Roku, Amazon FireTV and Apple TV.
Ultimately, this move by DirecTV could have serious implications for the future of conservative media outlets. For example, an increase in deplatforming would give progressive-leaning networks a massive advantage when it comes to the dissemination of political news and information. To prevent this, conservative news sources need to focus on digital expansion and audience growth. Ultimately, a larger audience will help level the playing field and make independent media more competitive in the industry. By expanding their reach, conservative outlets can ensure that their message and values are heard by as many people as possible. This is an important step to preserving freedom of speech in the 21st century.
Many have weighed in on the move from DirecTV, including both former President Donald Trump, as well as Donald Trump Jr.:
According to Newsmax:
Despite Newsmax being the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a “cost-cutting” measure and would never pay Newsmax a cable license fee.
“This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax,” Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax said.
“The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed,” Ruddy added.
Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX), along with 41 other Republican co-signers, has made an effort to save Newsmax by writing a letter to General Counsel and Chief External Affairs Officer at DIRECTV Michael Hartman, saying:
“If Newsmax is removed from DirecTV, in less than a year House Republicans will have lost two of the three cable news channels that reach conservative voters on a platform that primarily serves conservative-leaning areas of the country,”
DirecTV had stated that the economics of the situation were the main issue, not the ideology of conservative-leaning Newsmax. General Counsel and Chief External Affairs Officer at DIRECTV Michael Hartman said:
“In no way is DirecTV working to limit conservative viewpoints,” adding, “We remain hopeful that we will reach an agreement with Newsmax that will allow us to continue to carry their programming while keeping our service affordable. We appreciate your concern for our customers. And we would be happy to meet to provide additional information if it would be helpful to do so.”
“We think that it is also important to keep our dispute with Newsmax in perspective. According to Nielsen, nationwide Newsmax’s average household audience is only 101,000 households, representing less than 0.1% of total TV households… That is 92% lower than Fox News. If Newsmax ceases to authorize our carriage of their channel, our customers will still have access to their clearly preferred conservative news channel, Fox News, which has more viewers than MSNBC, CNN and Newsmax combined.”