It’s now official: DirecTV has ended its contract with conservative network Newsmax, but that doesn’t mean the streaming and satellite provider isn’t offering something similar in its place.
And former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly is the big winner.
According to the Washington Times, DirecTV has contracted with right-of-center streaming channel The First, which features a prime-time program hosted by O’Reilly.
The outlet continued:
The satellite-TV provider announced Thursday that it will add to its lineup The First TV, a right-of-center opinion channel whose hosts include Mr. O’Reilly, after being excoriated by Republicans for dumping the conservative news-and-commentary Newsmax network.
The First TV bills itself as having “the most powerful conservative voices in America,” including Jesse Kelly, Dana Loesch, Mike Slater and Liz Wheeler, as well as former Fox News Channel host Mr. O’Reilly.
DirecTV content officer Rob Thun said that the streaming platform “values different viewpoints and perspectives and will always work to preserve expansive choice among a wide variety of entertainment and information services.”
“As we’ve successfully done with other emerging channels, we look forward to helping The First continue to expand its audience reach, while constantly ensuring that our customers receive a strong value,” he added in a statement.
Newsmax went dark on DirecTV after nine years at midnight on Tuesday after negotiations over carriage fees went nowhere. The channel said that it wasn’t paid cable licensing fees though it had higher ratings than other channels that were being paid.
Several conservative voices called for a boycott of AT&T-owned DirecTV for ditching Newsmax and One American News, which it dropped last year, while carrying may left-wing networks, including CNN and MSNBC.
Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, tweeted: “I would cancel @DIRECTV for censoring @NEWSMAX but I already cancelled them for cancelling @OANN. I guess @DIRECTV doesn’t want conservative viewers so maybe we should all just quit their services and go elsewhere.”
A tweet from the satellite and streaming company noted: “Daily programs include ‘The Dana Show,’ featuring @DLoesch [Dana Loesch], ‘The Liz Wheeler Show’ with @Liz_Wheeler, ‘No Spin News with @BillOReilly’ and ‘I’m Right with Jesse Kelly,’ hosted by the former Marine and combat veteran @JesseKellyDC.”
Daily programs include “The Dana Show,” featuring @DLoesch, “The Liz Wheeler Show" with @Liz_Wheeler, “No Spin News with @BillOReilly” and “I’m Right with Jesse Kelly,” hosted by the former Marine and combat veteran @JesseKellyDC. https://t.co/0xXILfhrsw
— DIRECTV News (@DIRECTVnews) January 26, 2023
The Times noted further that a spokesperson from DirecTV said the provider did not want to drop Newsmax but the media company’s demand for rate increases would have led to higher costs for consumers.
“Adding The First to our channel lineup continues to give our customers a diverse lineup of perspectives without the financial burden,” said DirecTV in a Thursday tweet.
The First noted as well on Thursday that its broadcasts will soon be found on DirecTV satellite channel 349 and U-Verse channel 1220.
“The First exists for the massive group of Americans whose voices have been ignored,” said the streamer noted in a press release. “The people who are passionate about American values, aren’t afraid to engage big ideas, and who care about where this country is headed.”