DirecTV Drops News Channel Amid Carriage Dispute

More than 13 million DirecTV subscribers are no longer able to watch NewsmaxTV. The multichannel video programming distributor, which currently boasts 13.5 million subscribers, dropped Newsmax as the clock struck midnight on Wednesday, Jan. 25. The move came after the two sides became locked in a tense cable package negotiation over the channel's desire to receive carriage fees in a new deal.

While cable companies are typically required to pay a carriage fee to established networks, under the arrangement between Newsmax and DirecTV, DirecTV did not pay a carriage fee. Newsmax also did not pay a license fee. The relationship between DirecTV and Newsmax began to sour when Newsmax demanded a fee, resulting in tense negotiations between the two that ultimately failed to bring a resolution. In a statement confirming the move, a DirecTV spokesperson explained, per The Streamable, "on multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network." However, "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 company added that Newsmax would continue to be available for free on various other platforms, including and other streaming services. "We continually evaluate the most relevant programming to provide our customers and expect to fill this available channel with new content," the statement added.

Shortly before DirecTV dropped the network, Newsmax published an article in which Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy accused DirecTV of lying to media outlets about Newsmax asking for a carriage fee while keeping its free streams. Rudy wrote, "this is simply false. DirecTV knows that no operator pays a fee while Newsmax streams free." The article went on to note that this would be the second time DirecTV had "de-platformed" a conservative news channel in the past year, referring to the distributor's decision to drop One America News Network in 2022. Following Newsmax's removal from DirecTV's lineup, Rudy called the move "a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax," adding, per The Daily Beast, "the most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T's DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed."

Viewers hoping to watch Newsmax's programming are not out of luck. The channel is free on platforms like Pluto TV and Roku Channel, with both fuboTV and Sling TV also offering Newsmax. Meanwhile, the Newsmax app can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android devices.