DirecTV Drops One America News Network From its Lineup

On April 5 2022, an Imgur user shared a post saying, “DirecTv dropped OAN today!” — alongside an image of OAN’s logo.

On Twitter, several prominent accounts made similar claims:

Fact Check

Claim: In April 2022, DirecTV dropped OAN from their channel lineup.

Description: In April 2022, DirecTV dropped OAN from their channel lineup.

Rating: True

Rating Explanation: The claim has been verified through multiple sources including DirecTV notifying subscribers that OAN would no longer be available via the service as of April 5, 2022.

OAN, also known as OANN (standing for One America News Network) was prominent in coverage of the period just after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, primarily because of its ongoing spread of disinformation and baseless conspiracy theories about its results in order to weaken public trust in the American electoral system and in a broader sense, democracy itself:

On April 4 2022, Bloomberg News reporter Gerry Smith tweeted that DirecTV intended to drop OAN the following day, including a link with the tweet:

Smith linked to an April 4 2022 article about the move, detailing months of haggling about DirecTV’s decision. Noting that the “satellite TV giant has been notifying customers that it will no longer carry OAN,” the outlet added:

DirecTV, a joint venture between the private equity firm TPG Inc. and AT&T Inc., said in January [2022] that it planned to drop OAN, which was criticized for spreading misinformation about the pandemic and the 2020 election, when its contract expires. OAN began airing on DirecTV in April 2017 … In March [2022], Herring Networks sued AT&T and DirecTV, alleging breach of contract. In the lawsuit, Herring said that “the economic consequences of losing carriage with DirecTV could be devastating to OAN.”

Streaming news site covered DirecTV’s decision to drop OAN as of April 5 2022, including information about OAN’s efforts to contest the decision:

[In March 2022], OAN filed a lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages from DIRECTV and its majority owner, AT&T. Lawyers for OAN said that the two media companies used “unchecked influence and power” to “unlawfully destroy an independent, family-run business and impede the right of American television viewers to watch the news media channels and programs of their choice.”

OAN also alleges that DirecTV is participating in what it calls a “larger, coordinated, extremely well-financed political scheme to take down (OAN CEO Robert) Herring and unlawfully destroy its ability to operate in the media business.”

The relationship between the news network and DIRECTV has been complicated since a Reuters investigation last fall [2021] found that OAN was originally the idea of AT&T executives who wanted a conservative network to rival Fox News.

AdWeek‘s TVNewser also covered the dispute on April 4 2022:

DirecTV is going through with the move despite Herring Networks Inc., which owns and operates OANN, having sued parent company AT&T on March 7 [2022], seeking $1 billion in damages, alleging that the removal of the network from the satellite service was politically inspired and “could be devastating” financially. Court records have shown that about 90% of OAN’s revenue is generated from its AT&T/DirecTV deals.

DirecTV’s decision to drop OAN comes after Reuters revealed last October [2021] that parent company AT&T played a significant role in creating OAN and has paid tens of millions of dollars to carry the network on DirecTV.

An April 5 2022 Imgur post claimed that DirecTV dropped OAN (One America News) “today.” On April 4 2022, reported that DirecTV would cease carrying the channel on April 5 2022, noting that OAN sued DirecTV’s parent company AT&T on March 7 2022, for “$1 billion in damages”; OAN contended that the decision could be financially “devastating” to the network. The post was accurate, as DirecTV notified subscribers OAN would no longer be available via the service as of April 5 2022.