While many people have made the switch to streaming services over the recent years, there is still a large amount of people who rely on satellite TV providers to watch television and movies. But between carriage disputes and contract expiration dates, these viewers often face the risk of losing some of their favorite channels while in the middle of a subscription to a particular provider. In fact, DirecTV has just revealed that it is planning to drop at least two channels from its lineup in April. Read on to find out if your go-to programming is on the chopping block.
If you have DirecTV, be prepared to lose some of your channels in the next few months. The TV provider is planning to drop the conservative One America News Network (OAN) channel and the A Wealth of Entertainment, or AWE, channel in April, Bloomberg reported on Jan. 14. According to the news outlet, DirecTV notified OAN and AWE’s owner, Herring Networks Inc., that it will stop carrying the company’s two television channels when their contract expires. A source familiar with the provider told Bloomberg that the contract will expire in early April.
“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,” DirecTV said in an emailed statement to the news outlet.
This decision might come as a huge blow to OAN in particular because this channel depended heavily on DirecTV to reach the majority of its audience, according to Bloomberg. While the channel will still be carried on Verizon FiOS and smaller pay-TV providers, DirecTV has been its largest distributor. Around 90 percent of OAN’s revenue has come from a contract with AT&T platforms such as DirecTV, Reuters reported in Oct. 2021.
According to Bloomberg, DirecTV has offered OAN as a channel for customers ever since April 2017, when Herring Network won a lawsuit that forced the provider to carry its channels. Other major providers, like Comcast Corporation, charter Communications Inc., and Dish Network Corporation, have never carried OAN.
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OAN rose to prominence as a conservative channel during former President Donald Trump’s administration, according to Reuters. It has faced a lot of criticism in the recent years for allegedly pushing conspiracy theories about both the 2020 election and the COVID pandemic. In fact, critics have called on TV distributors to stop carrying the network, Bloomberg reported. John Bergmayer, the legal director at the advocacy group Public Knowledge, posted a blog post in Nov. 2021, calling on AT&T to specifically drop OAN from its programming line up for DirecTV.
“There is a huge difference between offering a conservative opinion and peddling conspiracy theories and falsehoods that threaten our democratic institutions,” Bergmayer wrote. “Whatever the backstory of OAN’s creation, there is no reason for AT&T, and its satellite service DirecTV, to continue supporting it today. For the same reason, we call on other pay TV providers that carry it, like CenturyLink Prism and Verizon Fios, to drop it as well.”
OAN does not appear to be backing down from the TV provider’s decision, however. Just a few days after Bloomberg first reported that DirecTV is planning to drop the conservative channel, OAN posted on its website, urging viewers to voice opposition to the drop. “Call AT&T and DirecTV today—cancel culture in news is unacceptable,” the network wrote on its website. “Let your voices be heard! Call AT&T and DirecTV to demand OAN remains on your channel lineup.”
Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul also recently commented on the TV provider’s decision, criticizing it as a stance against conservative viewers. “DirecTV is cancelling OAN so I just canceled my home DirecTV,” Paul tweeted on Jan. 17. “Why give money to people who hate us?”