Former president Donald Trump, known for his gluttonous diet of TV news, is going to have trouble finding one of his favorite far-right channels, One America News Network, in a few months.
Satellite TV provider DirecTV, OAN’s largest distributor, said it was dumping the news network on Friday, Bloomberg reported. DirecTV’s decision is a huge blow to OAN, which is not available on any other major U.S. TV provider, but it’s not exactly a shock. OAN basically sued its way onto DirecTV in 2017 and has come under increased scrutiny since then for spewing lies, promoting conspiracy theories, and fomenting violence.
DirecTV confirmed that it was dropping OAN, part of Herring Networks, in a statement to Gizmodo on Friday. In addition to OAN, Herring Networks also owns the lifestyle and entertainment channel A Wealth of Entertainment, or AWE, which is targeted to the ultra-rich.
“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 spokesperson said in an email.
Both channels will disappear from the provider’s offerings in early April when its contract ends, according to Bloomberg.
DirecTV’s announcement is the latest move in the strange and suspicious saga between AT&T and OAN. To start off, DirecTV is partly owned by AT&T, which purportedly gave Herring Networks buckets of money to create OAN. Moreover, a Reuters investigation from last October indicates that Herring Networks could be in serious financial trouble in light of DirecTV’s decision. The network’s lawyer said in 2020 that if OAN’s contract was not renewed by DirecTV, “the company would go out of business tomorrow.”
Gizmodo reached out to OAN on Saturday for comment on DirecTV’s decision but did not hear a response by the time of publication. We’ll update this article if someone gets back to us.
Once April comes along, OAN is going to be hard to find on TV. It was never picked up by the other three major providers in the U.S.: Comcast, Charter Communications, or Dish Network. On its website, OAN tells viewers they can watch on a KlowdTV for $4.99 or $9.99 per month, as well as on Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink PRISM, GCI, and Vidgo.
Besides Verizon FiOS, I have never heard of the other providers and would probably think they were spam or full of malware if I didn’t write this article. (If they are not spam or malware, my apologies).
Media Matters, a progressive U.S. media research and information center, told Gizmodo in a statement that DirecTV made the responsible decision in dropping OAN, calling the network “a cauldron of misinformation and extremism.”
“Now that OAN’s anchor distributor has dropped them, Verizon FiOS (OAN’s second major distributor) should follow suit,” Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said. “And certainly no other cable provider should pick them up.”
Gizmodo reached out to Verizon to ask about the future of OAN on Verizon FiOS but has not heard back yet.