In a story first broken by Mediaite’s Aidan McLaughlin, our friends at Newsmax announced Wednesday morning that, starting on Thursday, they will be returning to DirecTV as part of a “a multi-year distribution deal” nearly two months to the day its contract with the satellite TV provider ended and the network was dropped from its lineup.
Newsmax said in their statement posted to their site IWantNewsmax.com (which was used to rally support for its return to the platform) that the dispute about “financial terms” of “their carriage agreement” is “[u]nfortunately…a common occurrence in the pay TV industry, and often consumers are caught in the middle.”
Shortly thereafter, The National Report broke the news to viewers at 10:48 a.m. Eastern.
“DireTV has consistently expressed their interest in providing Newsmax to its subscribers and made it clear that they wished we had never left, which is why we’re glad to have reached an agreement,” co-host Emma Rechenberg reported.
Co-host Shaun Kraisman added it’s “big news for viewers” and “lawmakers out there” as “[s]o many stepped up to support Newsmax through this process” and thus it’s “[v]ery excit[ing] for both parties in this.”
Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy added the network’s “pleased to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will deliver our network to DIRECTV, DIRECTV STREAM and U-verse customers over the next several years.”
Ruddy also acknowledged the role of DirecTV in the network’s astronomical rise, noting they “gave Newsmax its start nearly a decade ago as it continues to do with upcoming news networks.”
DirecTV CEO Bill Morrow explained in the Newsmax statement that this was “an all-too-common carriage dispute” but the result was proof “of the free market at work” thanks to “persistent negotiations”.
In other words, the dispute mirrored those seen between TV providers and broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) (see here for an example) and regional sports networks (such as here).
Newsmax alluded to that in their announcement, citing “no less than 140 distinct disputes” in the last “five years alone” and called it an “increasingly frequent occurrence involving nearly every pay TV and streaming provider attempting to keep rising consumer costs in check.”
Conservatives emerge in an even stronger position as our friends at The First TV will remain on DirecTV (but move from channel 349 to 347) after having taken Newsmax’s place when the latter was dropped.
In turn, conservatives will now have four right-leaning outlets on DirecTV — The First TV, the Fox Business Network, the Fox News Channel, and Newsmax.
DirecTV admitted in a statement to McLaughlin that the “deal marks the end of a months-long carriage dispute that stemmed from financial differences” and reiterated it “comes at no additional cost to our customers.”
They also pushed back on the notion of it supporting conservative censorship, insisting “[i]t has always been our desire to provide Newsmax, and never about limiting conservative voices, a view that Newsmax now recognizes and accepts.”