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Frontier pulls Newsmax off cable lineup

A still frame from a broadcast on cable commentary network Newsmax. (Graphic by The Desk)
A still frame from a broadcast on cable commentary network Newsmax. (Graphic by The Desk)

Frontier Communications has pulled conservative commentary channel Newsmax from its lineup following the expiration of its carriage agreement with the network.

In a statement posted to Frontier’s website, the pay television company said it “made the business decision not to renew our agreement with Newsmax” after its agreement to carry the channel lapsed earlier this month.

The decision to drop Newsmax comes several months after satellite broadcaster DirecTV made a similar move, one that drew swift condemnation from officials at the channel and some conservative lawmakers in Congress who support it.

At the time, DirecTV said its decision to pull Newsmax came after the channel demanded carriage fees after years of providing the network without charge. DirecTV noted that Newsmax remained accessible on Internet platforms for free; Newsmax said those free streams were ending at some point in the future.

DirecTV and Newsmax settled the dispute late last month with a new agreement in place. The website Next TV said the agreement between the two companies didn’t include a demand from Newsmax for an annual fee of $1 per DirecTV subscriber.

While DirecTV has around 13 million customers paying for satellite, streaming television and the remains of the legacy AT&T U-Verse video product, Frontier has a fraction of that customer base, counting just north of 300,000 pay television customers at the end of last year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).