Skip to main content

DirecTV's OAN Decision Costs It a Customer: Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
(Image credit: YouTube)

A level-headed business decision, made by a pay TV company whose parent staunchly supported former President Donald Trump and his corporate tax cut five years ago?

Nope. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul views DirecTV's decision not to renew carriage of far right-focused One America News Network (OAN) -- and his subsequent decision to drop the satellite TV operator -- in much more emotional, far more ideological terms. 

"Why give money to people who hate us?" Paul tweeted Monday, announcing his decision to end DirecTV service. 

Also read: OAN Host Dan Ball Declares War on AT&T and DirecTV

OAN tweeted back its thanks, saying Paul was standing up for "freedom of the press and diversity in news."

Most Democrats have argued that OAN is just running interference for former President Trump, who slammed the DirecTV move and parent AT&T, who has previously been in his sites over their ownership of CNN.

Rand Paul tweet

(Image credit: Twitter)

Paul's emotional tweet came as OAN on-air personality Dan Ball asked viewers to dig up dirt on AT&T board chairman Bill Kennard. Posting a picture of the former FCC Chairman, Ball also encouraged OAN viewers to "raise hell" and "blow up" AT&T's phone lines. 

Notably, this all comes three months after a Reuters report detailed the foundational role that AT&T, a Texas-based, publicly traded telecom with a long history of donating money conservative politicians, played in helping OAN founder and CEO Robert Herring Jr. get his fledgling media company off the ground several years ago. 

AT&T and DirecTV have subsequently taken plenty of heat from the left for supporting a media company that has aggressively backed Trump's "Big Lie" -- the false assertion that the 2020 presidential election was undermined by wide-scale cheating that propelled Joe Biden to the presidency. 

Since the pay TV company -- spun off from AT&T last year in a joint venture with a big private equity firm TPG -- announced its decision not to renew a program licensing deal with OAN on Friday, its received praise from left-leaning voices including Media Matters, backing the decision to end ties with a media company that helped foment the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the nation's capital. 

For its part, however, DirecTV has framed the issue as nothing more than a carriage decision, executed under free capitalism and the media business which operates under those liberties. 

"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," a DirecTV rep said in an email to Next TV Friday night. 

Notably, Paul's tweet came a little more than a month after another Republican Senator, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, took to the social media platform -- that his party often decries for its alleged censorship -- to criticize DirecTV for the way it tiers the History Channel. 

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!