Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has publicly criticized The History Channel for years, alleging that it's bereft of actual, well, history, took to Twitter Saturday to blast DirecTV for downgrading the channel out of his service tier.
In his Saturday Twitter rant that appears to start in the early morning hours and culminate in the afternoon, Grassley seems to have accused DirecTV, now a joint venture between majority owner AT&T and private equity company TPG, of removing History Channel from his pay TV package because he's been so critical of the channel in the past. History Channel is part of A+E Networks, a JV between Disney and Hearts Corp.
After a DirecTV rep invited him to a direct-message conversation, Grassley appeared to convey frustration that he'll have to upgrade his DirecTV tier at an added monthly expense of $34, if he wants the channel he supposedly hates. Grassley then pondered switching his pay TV service to Dish Network.
Updated: A DirecTV spokesperson told Next TV's Jon Lafayette that Grassley should still have access to the History channel. “History has not moved for current customers. We recently informed customers who have not actively engaged in History and other select channels that the content will no longer appear in their lineup," the spokesperson said. "Any interested customers who are not seeing it yet want to add it back at no additional cost can visit www.directv.com/channel-opt-in.”
We're not sure what A+E means by "actively engaged," either. Do they pull the channel if the customer doesn't ever watch it? We're waiting back for an explanation.
Also notable: Grassley has taken campaign finance money from both AT&T and Dish Network in the past, according to Open Secrets. The longtime Iowa Senator also sat on key committees that examined AT&T's $49 billion purchase of DirecTV, which was approved in 2015. ■
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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!