At the end of January, Direct TV announced they were dropping the conservative news channel Newsmax. A claim by Newsmax that went viral was they were dropped to censor a conservative view of news sent Republican politicians and bloggers to crazy town. You see, that claim is fake news.
If Direct TV was trying to censor the conservative point of view, why would they replace Newsmax with another conservative news network? The First Network features conservative hosts such as Bill O’Reilly, Dana Loesch, Liz Wheeler, Mike Slater, and Jesse Kelly. On its website, First Network describes its “consistent commitment to conservative values.” Gee, that doesn’t sound like censorship.
People might complain that The First doesn’t yet have coverage across the U.S. That’s true, but it will have total coverage of Direct TV. When it started cable casting in 2014, Newsmax was only on Direct TV also.
Newsmax ratings and subscribers jumped after the 2020 election. While Fox News called Arizona for Biden, Newsmax disagreed. After the Biden win was recognized by others, including Fox. Newsmax refused. Their coverage of voter fraud allegations attracted Fox News viewers who felt FNC was not being loyal to President Trump.
Why would Direct TV boot Newsmax if they are replacing it with a different conservative news network? The answer is simple-money.
All non-premium cable networks have a dual path to revenue, advertising, and carry fees. Advertising revenue doesn’t need an explanation. Carry fees are the money the cable provider (Optimum, Verizon, Spectrum, etc.) has to pay the network for rights to run the network. Usually, the carriage fees are based on the number of subscribers the Cable TV provider has.
Before the recent controversy, Newsmax had a very attractive carriage fee—zero. In exchange, Direct TV had to cede two minutes of advertising time to Newsmax to sell to advertisers.
Beginning on January 24, the end of their current carriage agreement, the network sought to convert DirecTV to a regular paid carry arrangement. This would cost Direct TV a few million dollars. But DirecTV stresses “that dropping Newsmax has nothing to do with attempts to block out conservative viewpoints, but rather it’s a business decision as the company deals with a shrinking pay-TV industry alongside increased costs for programming. As the price for content climbs, the operator then passes those costs onto consumers through price hikes.”
If the reason for dropping Netflix was not content censorship, it that was the reason it wouldn’t have added a different kind of news channel than the conservative The First network. The censorship charge originated with Newsmax instead of truth.
To the members of Congress, the media, and even a few of my blogging colleagues, allow me to suggest next time, before you go crazy, try to do a little investigation. Until then, if you want to continue believing Newsmax was dropped because of anti-conservative censorship— remember, tin foil hats are not expensive.