DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with the far-right One America News Network (OANN), according to reports.
DirecTV satellite service, owned by AT&T Inc. and TPG Inc., said in a statement that it has informed Herring Networks, the owner of OANN, that “following a routine internal review,” DirecTV does not “plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires.”
One source told Bloomberg News that the contract would expire in early April, ending the network’s relationship with the broadcast service.
DirecTV has been the largest distributor of OANN. However, the network will still be available on Verizon Fios and other smaller carriers. It will also be streaming online through the service KloudTV.
While no specific reason for the decision to let the contract expire, the move comes only days after President Biden made a plea to media companies to censor certain information contradictory to his administration.
The NAACP met with AT&T to encourage the company to drop OANN in October 2021. According to a statement in October of 2021, the NAACP President Derrick Johnson said, “AT&T is directly supporting efforts that undermine our democracy and suppress our right to vote. It’s reprehensible.”
In August, Dominion Voting Systems, a company that builds electronic voting machines and software, filed a lawsuit against the owner of OANN and the news service Newsmax. The suits come after both networks aired several election-related conspiracy theories. Dominion is seeking roughly $1.6 billion in defamation damages. Dominion claims the networks were carrying forward the theory of former President Donald Trump, claiming the election was rigged.
According to Dominion, an “expert mathematician” interviewed on OANN was actually an installer at a Long Island swing-set-construction company.
In February, OANN was required to air a 90-second disclaimer before broadcasting a documentary produced by MyPillow founder and Trump ally Mike Lindell that featured election-related conspiracy theories.
In November, another voting-technology company, Smartmatic, filed separate defamation lawsuits against Newsmax and OANN. The suits were filed after the company alleges the networks aired similar disinformation about its products.
The lawsuits allege that the media outlets falsely stated that Smartmatic “rigged” the presidential election for President Biden in crucial swing states.