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 taken down by one of its largest television distributors later this year.
The decision of the distributor, DirecTV, a satellite and streaming network with approximately 15 million subscribers, is a major setback for One America News and its owners, the Herring family. Losing its slot on the DirecTV lineup will almost certainly reduce the network’s overall audience and reduce its annual revenue.
DirecTV did not elaborate on the exact reasons for its decision on Saturday.
“We have informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not intend to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” a DirecTV spokesperson said in an email on Saturday. DirecTV also plans to drop a second channel from the Herrings, called AWE, that will feature lifestyle and entertainment programming.
Herring Networks did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday. DirecTV’s move was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Chanel Rion, the chief White House correspondent for One America News, mocked DirecTV in a Twitter message 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’d have better luck in Pyongyang.”
Based in San Diego, One America News began operations in 2013. Beginning with the 2016 election, the network has acted as a venue for views and reporting aligned with Donald J. Trump and his right-wing allies.
The 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, who have accused the channel of spreading lies that they manipulated the vote numbers to get the election to Joseph R. Biden Jr. to wave.
One America News has also promoted the false theory that left-wing agitators, not Trump supporters, were the main instigators of the Capitol uprising.
This month, on the anniversary of the January 6 attack, One America News posted an excerpt about “the patriotic demonstrations at the Capitol on January 6,” suggesting the attack was a so-called “false flag” operation by liberals, intended to deprive patriotic Americans of their freedoms. “Left, media story around January 6, 2021 Just an excuse for Democrats to take power,” a headline read on the screen.
The channel has also broadcast false and misleading messages about the safety and efficacy of coronavirus vaccines. In June, an anchor, Pearson Sharp, told viewers, “The impact of the coronavirus vaccine continues to grow and the toll on human life is now worse than anyone could have imagined.”
DirecTV is one of the few major television distributors to offer One America News; another is Verizon Fios. The channel is also available to stream online and maintains a popular YouTube page with over 1.4 million subscribers.
One America News and DirecTV have a complex history.
The channel has been operated by DirecTV since 2017, in the wake of a lawsuit filed last 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 the testimony of a network employee in a separate lawsuit, said One America News had relied heavily on fees paid by to AT&T affiliated platforms to fund its operations.