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DirecTV to sever ties with OAN and drop the right-wing conspiracy channel later this year

<i>Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images</i><br/>One America News
Drew Angerer
Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
One America News

By Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter, CNN Business

One America News, the right-wing conspiracy channel favored by former President Donald Trump, will be dropped later this year by DirecTV, a spokesperson for the television carrier said Friday evening.

The move will deal a significant blow to the fringe outlet. Not only will OAN be removed from the millions of households that use DirecTV as a television provider, it will also suffer a major hit to its revenue.

Reuters, citing sworn testimony that an OAN accountant gave in 2020, reported last year that 90% of the channel’s revenue came from subscriber fees paid by AT&T-owned platforms, including DirecTV.

While DirecTV has since been spun off into a standalone company, AT&T still owns 70% of it. (AT&T also owns CNN, though it is spinning off CNN parent company WarnerMedia in a deal with Discovery expected to be completed this year.)

It is unknown what proportion of the channel’s revenue currently comes from DirecTV or how many households it will reach once DirecTV stops carrying it. But the network’s website only lists a few other national carriers, Verizon FiOS most prominently among them.

In a statement, a DirecTV spokesperson told CNN, “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.”

Bloomberg News, which broke the story, reported that the contract expires in early April. A person familiar with the matter confirmed that date to CNN.

Through the years, OAN has promoted conspiracy theories and outright lies on a number of issues, including the results of the 2020 presidential election and the coronavirus pandemic. Trump favored the network because it was willing to advance his lies.

The move by DirecTV to sever ties comes amid a nationwide reckoning about the proliferation of misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.

The decision also comes after significant controversy following Reuters’s story, which reported that AT&T played a key role in OAN’s founding.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said at the time that it was “outraged” by the report.

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Comments

14 Comments

    1. They ain’t “deciding what I need to watch.” Get over yerself. They are deciding not to allow wingnutt charlatans to spew idiocy on their network. Smart move really.

      1. And who has the right to decide what is idiocy and wingnuts? Isn’t that a Personal Decision, not a corporate one? As far as I know you can choose NOT to watch a channel that is offered on TV. But you can’t choose to watch a channel that the media/corporations decide they don’t want you to see. That violates our right to make decisions for ourselves.

        With that said I DON’T watch TV, but may have to check it out now to see what the fuss is all about. If they don’t want me to see it, it might just have some information those in power don’t want us to know.

        1. Just maybe the ones a company decides not to air have a lot of disproven… well, lies. There’s definitely a liability, $ and otherwise, in spreading fabricated untruths, spun for political gain. And there’s the rub.

        2. Its THEIR broadcasting network, THEY get to decide who they do business with. Period that is all. Or do you want the GOVERNMEMT to force them to broadcast OAN?

  1. Do people really believe that America isn’t being censored right now? What happened to Free Speech?
    Corporations are literally deciding what we can watch, listen to and read. WAKE UP AMERICA. This is not in line with our Constitution and way of life.

    1. Journalists have always worked for companies and there have always been such “decisions.” But never has there been so many ways to make your views none without depending on that “evil mainstream media,” which does it’s job of trying to separate facts from… something else.

  2. I’ve never watched the channel, I don’t know anything about it, but If you substitute “CNN” in every place the article says “OAN” it’s reads the same.

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