DirecTV and Newsmax ended their dispute over the distribution of the popular news channel this week in an agreement lauded by both parties.
The agreement came after the television provider withdrew distribution rights to Newsmax in January. The deal places Newsmax back on DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-verse.
Newsmax returned to DirecTV Mar. 23.
The news was welcomed by Newsmax. CEO Christopher Ruddy said that the channel “recognizes and appreciates that DIRECTV clearly supports diverse voices, including conservative ones.”
The channel’s head also said that DirecTV “gave Newsmax its start nearly a decade ago” and that the new deal is “mutually beneficial.”
DirecTV framed the original issue as a carriage dispute, and its CEO Bill Morrow said that the media giant desires to deliver “a wide array of programming and perspectives to all our customers.”
Morrow said that DirecTV has settled “approximately 50” similar carriage disputes in the last five years.
He also said that the agreement, which he also described as mutually helpful, was “a reflection of the free market at work.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called the deal a “GREAT victory for free speech.” Cruz said that he was “proud to lead the fight to get Newsmax back on air.” Cruz also made comments celebrating the news channel’s win in an interview on Newsmax.
Getting Newsmax back on DirecTV was a HUGE victory for free speech!
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 24, 2023
The agreement allows for the channel to join DirecTV’s current listings at no additional cost.
Newsmax has grown considerably over the last decade and is now one of the most-watched news channels on cable and satellite.
Its programming gained a significant following among conservative viewers in particular, and in September 2022 eclipsed Fox News’ ratings during a rally by former President Donald Trump.
During the rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the network had more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined, with an overall drawing of more than 1.9 million viewers.
Newsmax also operates a popular news app that allows viewers to tune into its coverage on their phone or tablet. The company also runs one of the largest conservative-leaning news sites in the nation.