Republican Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears told Newsmax on Wednesday she is confident the new GOP majority in the House will eventually get to the bottom of why AT&T-owned DirecTV removed the conservative news channel from its lineup.
"We don't want to dictate to private businesses, as you know, especially what they should and shouldn't do when it comes to certain aspects of the business," Sears told "Spicer & Co." "But we want to make sure all voices are heard, and so I'm sure that this Congress, this newly elected Congress in the House, is going to get to the bottom of this."
DirecTV cut Newsmax's signal Jan. 24, blocking the network from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream and U-Verse. It is the second time in the past year AT&T has canceled a conservative news channel, with DirecTV deplatforming One America News in April 2022.
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., told Newsmax on Tuesday the House GOP is taking the channel's deplatforming by DirecTV "very seriously," and that they "are going to fight like hell" to investigate the move.
Sears, Virginia's first female lieutenant governor, said Republicans are starting to push back to where "we're not going to have these partisan battles in journalism" anymore, where Democrats are always perceived to be right and Republicans wrong.
"We're not giving in like that anymore," she said. "I believe the people of America want change. And we're not divorcing ourselves from reality.
"This is all about common sense. The people want order."
Newsmax is the 4th highest-rated cable news channel reaching 25 million Americans, according to Nielsen.
DirecTV claimed both Newsmax and OAN were removed as "cost-cutting" measures.
At the same time the service continues to carry 22 left-leaning news channels, many with much lower ratings than Newsmax. And all of those channels get license fees.
This week DirecTV claimed Newsmax was demanding "excessive fees" that would cost them in the "tens of millions" of dollars.
Newsmax has denied these claims, saying it was seeking a fee of about $1 per cable subscriber per year, among the lowest fees asked for in cable, and that total amount of the deal was a fraction of "tens of millions."
"This was never about the fees being excessive," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, said. "DirecTV's position has always been that Newsmax of all cable news channels should never get any cable fee whatsoever, not one penny. "
DirecTV has issued a statement it wants Newsmax back on its service, but only on its terms.
Ruddy said there has been no real negotiation and no flexibility by DirecTV in its refusal to pay any carriage fees to the network.
Actions to Take Now
1. DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain.
2. AT&T customers call toll free at 888-855-2338 to cancel/complain for U-verse, cellular and wireless services.
3. Call your congressman or senator at 202-224-3121 and demand they stop AT&T/DirecTV's censorship of NEWSMAX — ask them to give you a date on the hearings!
4. Go to our online petition and get more info: iWantNewsmax.com.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.