Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., told Newsmax on Tuesday that the network's removal from DirecTV's lineup is an attempt "to silence the conservative movement."
"We have DirecTV, too. I'll tell you we canceled it," Mullin said on "National Report."
"This shows that the left media is trying to censor conservative talk when you have Newsmax, which is the number four rated news program out there in the country, that gets canceled and they bring in … a conservative [network] that has much lower ratings.
"They leave other programs on that have much less ratings, and they say that they're doing it over a contract dispute,” the senator said.
DirecTV customers call toll free at 877-763-9762 to cancel/complain.
“Well, I've had the privilege to understand what the contract is. There is no contract dispute here. All this is trying to silence the conservative movement from these woke executives that are at AT&T and DirecTV."
AT&T’s DirecTV removed Newsmax from its systems on January 24, denying 13 million subscriber homes the channel.
Newsmax is the 4th highest-rated cable news channel reaching 25 million Americans, according to Nielsen.
AT&T has come under fierce criticism for removing Newsmax, the second conservative channel in the past year it has deplatformed, with OAN leaving last April.
DirecTV claimed both Newsmax and OAN were removed as "cost-cutting" measures.
At the same time the service continues to carry 22 left-leaning news channels, many with much lower ratings than Newsmax. And all of those channels get license fees.
This week DirecTV claimed Newsmax was demanding "excessive fees" that would cost them in the "tens of millions" of dollars.
Newsmax has denied these claims, saying it was seeking a fee of about $1 per cable subscriber per year, among the lowest fees asked for in cable, and that total amount of the deal was a fraction of "tens of millions."
"This was never about the fees being excessive," Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, said. "DirecTV's position has always been that Newsmax of all cable news channels should never get any cable fee whatsoever, not one penny. "
DirecTV has issued a statement it wants Newsmax back on its service, but only on its terms.
Ruddy said there has been no real negotiation and no flexibility by DirecTV in its refusal to pay any carriage fees to the network.
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