DirecTV has told its subscribers that it's sticking with its plan to drop One America News Network (OAN) at end-of-day Monday (April 4), despite a flurry of threats, legal and otherwise, emanating from the far-right cable channel's on-air personalities and constituents.
With OAN under a barrage of lawsuits and controversy for its enthusiastic support of former President Donald Trump‘s bogus claim that the 2020 election was stolen, DirecTV announced in January that it would drop the channel from its program guides, effective in April when its current carriage deal expired.
OAN, which is owned by San Diego-based Herring Networks and derives most of its distribution via DirecTV, didn't take the news well.
Dan Ball, one of OAN's most prominent on-air personalities, urged viewers to dig up dirt on Bill Kennard, the former FCC chairman who now chairs the board of AT&T ... which recently spun DirecTV off but is still the majority owner of the pay TV company.
From the Archives (2016): Court Won't Dismiss Herring Suit Against AT&T
Trump himself called for a boycott of AT&T in February, "decrying radical left lunatics who are destroying our nation."
In March, Herring Networks sued AT&T for breach of contract, accusing AT&T and DirecTV of "bowing to political pressure" by removing not only One America News, but also Herrings affluent lifestyle channel AWE ("A Wealth of Entertainment).
That notion of political bias was hammered home in a letter sent in March by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, co-signed by his fellow red state AGs in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana and South Carolina, accusing AT&T and DirecTV of bowing to “powerful left-wing voices.”
These claims come under quite a bit of scrutiny when you consider that DirecTV is now adding to its lineup Fox Nation, home to a recent Tucker Carlson segment whereby he suggested that the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection was merely an event staged by the Deep State to entrap conservatives. The Fox News Media streaming outlet is a $5.99 premium add-on channel on DirecTV.
As for OAN, it still has distribution via Verizon Fios, as well as a handful of smaller cable operators. KlowdTV, a virtual pay TV operator, is bundling OAN, Newsmax and InfoWars for $2.50 a month. And OAN has its own FAST play with the linear streaming OAN Plus. Still, all told, distribution of OAN is less than 5 million at this point. ■
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!