DirecTV and Newsmax strike deal; satellite carrier will resume broadcasting the channel
(CNN) -- DirecTV said Wednesday that it has reached a multi-year distribution agreement with Newsmax, putting to end a bitter carriage dispute that waded into political waters and saw the right-wing channel and satellite carrier savage one another in public.
"This resolution with Newsmax, resolving an all-too-common carriage dispute, underscores our dedication to delivering a wide array of programming and perspectives to our customers," said Bill Morrow, chief executive of DirecTV. "Through our persistent negotiations, we reached a resolution under mutually-agreeable business terms allowing us to deliver the conservative news network at the right value - a reflection of the free market at work."
Chris Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax who for months accused the satellite carrier of unfair anti-conservative censorship, changed his tune when announcing the deal, saying in a statement that DirecTV "clearly supports diverse voices, including conservative ones."
The terms of the deal were not disclosed by either party, but Newsmax had sought millions of dollars from DirecTV to broadcast the network's low-rated programming. DirecTV had refused on business grounds, contending it would result in increased prices for its customers.
Newsmax advanced a wholly different narrative, accusing DirecTV of working to censor conservative voices, even though the carrier offers right-wing talk channels such as Fox News and The First on its lineup.
DirecTV said that it found such behavior "troubling," calling out Newsmax for promoting "inaccurate and misleading information" about the dispute as the outlet published an endless stream of content targeting the satellite carrier.
"In our view, these efforts are obscuring facts in pursuit of Newsmax's own commercial interests," DirecTV said, "not elucidating the news."
Republican lawmakers added additional pressure on DirecTV, with some suggesting that they would hold hearings on Capitol Hill about the matter and drag DirecTV's executives before them to face a grilling.
GOP Rep. Byron Donalds, a House Oversight Committee member, told Newsmax last month that Republicans were "definitely looking into" holding a hearing.
"We obviously have an issue with a lot of media companies silencing conservative thought and conservative speech," Donalds said, "and the one thing we're committed to is doing everything we can to put an end to it."
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