Even a liberal media outlet raised questions about DirecTV’s standard of fairness in how it’s treating Newsmax in comparison to the leftist channels distributed on its platform.
Newsweek’s Jan. 26 headline didn’t beat around the bush: “Newsmax Ratings Compared to Vice Raises Questions About DirecTV Fairness.” Newsmax reported after having its signal cut that it was “seeking a fee with a 75% discount to its market value, and compared to fees currently paid by DirecTV, almost all 50 channels below Newsmax in ratings get higher fees.”
After propping up DirecTV’s excuse that it didn’t give Newsmax a “carriage fee” due to supposedly low ratings, Newsweek noted Newsmax’s point that the leftist “Vice TV receives full carriage and license fees from DirecTV, despite having an audience of [only] 60,000, according to USTVDB figures.”
Newsweek also noted that TPG Capital, which owns a “30 percent stake in DirecTV” (AT&T owns 70 percent), “made a $450 million investment in Vice in 2017.”
Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy reportedly told his own network that Vice has “‘a tiny rating—just 20 percent of Newsmax's lowest rating—and they get a fee [of] about what we were asking for.’” Perhaps the reason for the glaring double standard is because one of liberal DirecTV’s owners has a vested interest in Vice?
Newsweek broke down how carriage fee negotiations typically play out between networks and programming distributors:
Cable companies are generally required to pay a carriage fee to established networks, and networks a license fee to the cable provider. While the fees are worked out in individual deals between the company and the network, the carriage fee is usually dependent on how valuable the network is for attracting subscribers, [emphasis added].
Apparently the “how valuable” standard for carriage fees flies right out the window when it comes to the relatively poor-performing Vice TV, and Newsweek noticed.
Ruddy didn’t mince words about the implications of what DirecTV did: “‘This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.’” One thing is for sure, there certainly appears to be a trend. DirecTV dropped Newsmax from its channel lineup just nine months after it nixed One America News from its platform.
Speaking on Newsmax Wednesday morning about the decision, NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck called it “very concerning” and called out the irony that CNN and MSNBC -- which won't be dropped anytime soon -- are closer to Newsmax in the ratings than to the Fox News Channel. Also speaking with hosts Shaun Kraisman and Emma Rechenberg that Americans haven't had a choice as to whether their tax dollars go to fund far-left news outlets in NPR and PBS.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact ABC News (818) 460-7477, CBS News (212) 975-3247 and NBC News (212) 664-6192, and demand they hold DirecTV to account for its deplatforming trend.