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Friday, January 28, 2022

One America News Will Be Dropped by DirecTV, a Major Distributor

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The right-wing cable channel One America News Network — which has spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, the Jan. 6 Capitol, and the safety of coronavirus vaccines — will be dropped by one of its largest television distributors later this year.

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The decision by the distributor, DirecTV, a satellite and streaming network with about 15 million subscribers, is a significant setback for One America News and its owners, the Herring family. Losing its slot on the DirecTV lineup will almost certainly diminish the network’s overall audience and cut into its annual revenue.

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DirecTV on Saturday did not elaborate on the precise reasons behind its decision.

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“We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” a spokesman for DirecTV said in an email on Saturday. DirecTV plans to also drop a second channel owned by the Herrings called AWE, which features lifestyle and entertainment programs.

Herring Networks did not respond on Saturday to requests for comment. The move by DirecTV was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Chanel Rion, the chief White House correspondent for One America News, derided DirecTV in a Twitter post on Friday that referred to the decision to drop the channel. “With moves like this, DirecTV will have to become state-owned to survive,” Ms. Rion wrote, adding, “They would have better luck in Pyongyang.”

One America News, which is based in San Diego, started in 2013. Beginning with the 2016 election, the network acted as a venue for viewpoints and coverage aligned with Donald J. Trump and his right-wing allies.

Its anchors have regularly questioned the outcome of the 2020 election. The network is facing defamation lawsuits from two election technology companies, Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, that have accused the channel of spreading falsehoods that they manipulated vote tallies to swing the election to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

One America News has also promoted the false theory that left-wing agitators, and not Trump supporters, were the primary instigators of the Capitol riot.

This month, on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack, One America News ran a segment about “the patriotic demonstrations at the Capitol on Jan. 6” that suggested the attack was a so-called “false flag” operation by liberals intended to strip patriotic Americans of their liberties. “Leftist, Media Narrative Surrounding January 6th, 2021 Simply an Excuse for Democrats to Seize Power,” read an onscreen headline.

The channel has also aired false and misleading reports about the safety and efficacy of coronavirus vaccines. In June, one anchor, Pearson Sharp, told viewers: “The fallout from the coronavirus vaccine continues to grow, and the toll on human life is now worse than anyone could have imagined.”

DirecTV is one of only a few major television distributors that carries One America News; another is Verizon Fios. The channel is also available to stream online, and it maintains a popular YouTube page with more than 1.4 million subscribers.

One America News and DirecTV have a complex history.

The channel has been carried by DirecTV since 2017, in the wake of a lawsuit filed the previous year by Herring Networks against AT&T, the former owner of DirecTV. (Although DirecTV is now independent, AT&T has retained a significant stake.) A Reuters report last year, citing testimony from a network employee in a separate lawsuit, said that One America News had relied heavily on fees paid by AT&T-affiliated platforms to fund its operations.





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