Conservative news channel Newsmax TV is getting a distribution boost by returning to DirecTV’s channel lineup as of today.
As part of the deal with DirecTV parent AT&T, Newsmax is also being added to AT&T’s U-verse platform for the first time. Together the deal brings Newsmax about 25 million subscribers, 21 million of them from DirecTV. AT&T’s U-verse platform has been shrinking since the telco giant acquired DirecTV in 2016 and has sought to migrate U-verse subscribers to its larger satellite service.
Newsmax is the most prominent of a handful of conservative news and commentary outlets that have been gaining traction in recent years. Many in the cable news market see an opening for a right-leaning outlet now that Fox News has faced such upheaval, including the loss of marquee anchor Bill O’Reilly. Newsmax has frequently been mentioned as a possible new home for O’Reilly, who hastily exited Fox News in April amid a cascading scandal about his history of settling sexual harassment suits.
“With our launch on DirecTV and U-verse, Newsmax TV has the opportunity to serve more viewers,” Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said. “Newsmax TV has a unique audience of Americans seeking news they can’t get from other major networks.”
Newsmax had been on DirecTV in less-than-optimum channel position until about a year ago. It’s not clear what drove AT&T to restore Newsmax in a better position near other all-news cabler. But AT&T is in the midst of a regulatory review of its $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner, meaning that it has every incentive to open DirecTV’s pipes to independently owned channels.
Launched in 1998, Boca Raton, Fla.-based Newsmax carries 14 hours a day of live programming featuring such commentators as J.D. Hayworth, Miranda Khan, John Bachman, Michael Reagan, and Alan Dershowitz. The channel has recently signed deals for simulcasts of daily syndicated radio programs hosted by Todd Schnitt, Wayne Allyn Root, Joe Pags, Joe Walsh and Howie Carr.
On Thursday, as the media world marveled at President Trump’s swipe via Twitter at MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski, Newsmax featured an interview with former U.S. House Majority leader Tom DeLay cheering the President’s move.
“I am so glad he’s going after the media and going after them in a personal way, because they’re going after him in a personal way,” DeLay told Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg.
Newsmax said it is available as a linear channel in nearly 40 million homes. It is carried by Verizon’s Fios service and by a number of smaller cable operators including CenturyLink. The channel is offered as a digital multicast option by broadcast TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Phoenix and several other markets.
Newsmax programming is available for free streaming via Roku, YouTube, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.