DirecTV lets One America News carriage deal expire

(Logo courtesy DirecTV/Graphic designed by The Desk)

Satellite broadcaster DirecTV dropped two channels programmed by Herring Networks as it allowed a carriage agreement to distribute the networks to expire.

The move means One America News (OAN) and A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE) will no longer be available to DirecTV’s satellite and streaming customers starting today.

A DirecTV spokesperson told industry trade publication Fierce Video that it decided as far back as January to let the deal expire without a renewal.

“In January we informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we did not plan to enter into a new contract when the agreement expired,” the DirecTV spokesperson said.

The decision was reached several months after DirecTV was spun off from its former parent company AT&T. The telecom still retains a majority ownership of DirecTV, with private equity firm TPG Capital owning a 30 percent share.

Since the spinoff, DirecTV has shuffled its programming around, dropping several channels while adding others and moving networks around its various packages.

In January, Reuters reported on courtroom transcripts in which Herring Networks executives said OAN was built in part due to intense interest from AT&T, which purportedly wanted an alternate to the conservative-leaning Fox News Channel.

“They told us they wanted a conservative network,” one executive said, according to Reuters. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other side [of the political spectrum]. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”

One year later, a lawyer representing OAN told a judge that any decision by AT&T or DirecTV to drop the channel could financially cripple the network to the point it might go out of business.

As of Tuesday, OAN is still broadcasting, with its content available on a number of other platforms, including Verizon Fios, CenturyLink and Klowd TV. OAN’s linear feed is also available to view through a subscription sold by the network itself, which is offered at a price of $5 a month.

A streaming only channel called OAN Plus, which features content pulled from the live cable channel, is offered on Paramount Global’s Pluto TV and the independent streaming services DistroTV and Freecast.

Thanks for reading and supporting The Desk. If you have a question, comment or news tip, send a message by email or text, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Also, check out our new membership service The Desk: Pro Access for exclusive reporting, news scoops and in-depth analysis.