One America News Network is about to lose its last major television distributor. After being removed from DirecTV in early April, the right-wing network continued to air on Verizon Fios. But with a channel carrier contract expiring at the end of July, Verizon confirmed that the parties will not reach an agreement.
“Our negotiations with OAN have been typical, ‘business-as-usual’ carriage negotiations such as those that routinely occur between content distributors and content providers. These negotiations were focused on economics, as they always are, but OAN was unable to agree to fair terms,” Verizon said in a statement provided to Ars last night. “Since we were unable to reach an agreement, effective July 31, 2022, we will no longer have the rights to provide our customers with this programming and it will be removed from the Fios TV lineup.”
Verizon also confirmed the removal on July 31 in an update posted on its website, noting that “broadcasters and cable networks sometimes charge unacceptable price increases” that can increase customers’ monthly TV bills. We contacted OAN about the removal from Verizon last night and will update this article if we hear back.
OAN’s removal from major TV providers came after pressure from advocacy groups that pointed out that OAN “is a big supporter of the Stop the Steal movement” and that it spread “election fraud lies claiming that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump,” stok[ed] violent calls for the attack on the U.S. capitol,” and sending “wall-to-wall COVID-19 disinformation.” U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) last year asked AT&T, Verizon and other TV providers on why they have OAN, Newsmax and Fox News.
“We are concerned about the role Verizon is playing in spreading misinformation to millions of its Fios TV subscribers,” said a letter from Eshoo/McNerney to Verizon.
OAN makes desperate pleas to viewers
OAN has become increasingly desperate in its attempts to stay with major TV providers. OAN owner Herring Networks sued DirecTV and its majority owner AT&T in March, saying it may have to shut down because of lost revenue from DirecTV’s decision to drop the network.
OAN has also urged Comcast and Charter Spectrum customers to demand that the nation’s two largest cable companies carry the channel. “OAN has been trying for years to get on Comcast and Charter Spectrum TV. You are stuck paying for LIBERAL mainstream media news. Yet OAN is asking for less than 1/5th of the rate of MSNBC,” reads a message that we saw on OAN’s website yesterday:
Providing phone numbers to call the cable companies, the message says, “It’s time to tell Comcast & Charter Spectrum that you want OAN added to your channel lineup. Call today!”