DirecTV and Newsmax went their separate ways last month, and the parting is more sad than sweet.
Brief summary: DirecTV, which is majority owned by AT&T, says Newsmax is seeking “rate increases” that would have “resulted in significantly higher costs” for customers. According to Newsmax TV, this is nonsense and has already been heavily discounted compared to lower rated channels. This time, the firings weren’t just a negotiating tactic, and DirecTV wasted no time in replacing right-wing Newsmax TV with another conservative platform, The First.
Well, Newsmax TV and DirecTV are not friends after the breakup. From day one, Newsmax called the handing over of the new carriage deal to DirecTV “censorship” and “deplatforming.” DirecTV maintains that the decision was purely a business play.
In the weeks that followed, Newsmax seemingly spent as much time reporting on how un-American DirecTV was as it did on actual news. (You know, considering Newsmax the current news.)
The feud escalated into a back-and-forth between Jewish community leaders, including Alan Dershowitz and Senator Joseph Lieberman. First up is Bryan Leib who He describes himself as a “Newsmax insider”, gathered a team of “two dozen prominent Jews” to sign a letter to DirecTV expressing “serious concern” about the removal of Newsmax.
“As leaders of our community, we represent millions of American Jews. Newsmax is a key way to reach our fellow Americans to share our views on anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, the State of Israel and other issues important to our community,” the letter said. The letter was forwarded to the Jewish News Syndicate for reporting; you can read more here.
In response, DirecTV called on the Jewish community’s own leaders, including five rabbis, to sign a retaliatory letter in part reminding everyone that it distributes the Jewish Broadcasting Service. Read this letter here.
“Newsmax uses its own news platforms to cover up the facts with inaccurate and misleading information – including dozens of daily blog posts, a constant social stream of corporate or employee contacts, and 2+ hours of broadcast programming per day – all to further its own agenda. its own business interests,” a spokesperson for the satellite TV provider told IndieWire on Tuesday.
That’s no exaggeration: On Tuesday alone, Newsmax published 14 posts about its beef with DirecTV. Hey, Valentine’s Day is especially hard for ex-lovers.
But that wasn’t much of an anomaly, either — according to our math, DirecTV-is-a-big-eanie (paraphrased) landing page on Newsmax.com It has 186 posts – and counting.
IndieWire reached out to Newsmax for comment on this story, but did not immediately hear back.
Newsmax has an argument that potentially supports its “political discrimination” position, accusing the satellite television operator of favoring liberal-leaning news channels regardless of TV ratings. In April 2022, DirecTV dropped the pro-Trump channel OAN (One America News). Beyond The First, however, DirecTV also offers SVOD of Fox News and Fox Nation, the latter of which DirecTV customers can access with a free 60-day trial.
Quick paragraph break for nothing…
In IndieWire’s December ranking of 126 cable channels in 2022, Newsmax TV ranks No. 56 in primetime (8:00-11:00 p.m.) according to Nielsen Live + Same Day ratings. That put Newsmax below BBC America and Disney Junior, as well as NFL Network and the Science Channel, while Fox News, MSNBC and CNN were all top 10 channels. Nexstar’s NewsNation, a more centrist cable news channel, was 85th.
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