The far-right, hoax-soaked channel that can make Fox News look like NPR is about to lose the cushy carriage deal that provides most of its income.

On Friday night, Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith reported that DirecTV will not renew its distribution deal with One America News Network when it expires at the end of April; CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter confirmed that soon after. 

That would end years of generous support, starting when AT&T added OANN to its U-Verse TV service in 2014. After the Dallas telecom giant bought DirecTV for $48.5 billion in 2015, OANN’s parent firm, San Diego-based Herring Networks, sued AT&T for allegedly breaking pledges to bring the channel to DirecTV’s larger viewer base; AT&T obliged after a favorable pretrial ruling for Herring, putting OANN on DirecTV in 2017

As Reuters’ John Shiffman reported in October, court documents show AT&T functioned as OANN’s sugar daddy, providing 90% of Herring’s income. His story cited an OANN lawyer’s testimony: “If Herring Networks, for instance, was to lose or not be renewed on DirecTV, the company would go out of business tomorrow.”

In June 2020, Bloomberg’s Smith reported that OANN enjoyed an exceptionally generous deal in which AT&T–meaning its TV subscribers–paid that channel 15 cents per subscriber per month. 

Aside from Verizon Fios, no other pay-TV provider of any serious size has touched OANN. Among smaller services, CenturyLink’s now-deprecated Prism TV and the Alaskan cable operator GCI carry it. 

OANN’s coverage stands apart for its worshipful attitude toward former President Donald Trump. On Saturday morning, the channel’s pinned tweet touted its plans to air a Trump rally tonight—”LIVE without interruptions!”—and its frequent airing of discredited hoaxes about the 2020 election, the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, and many other topics.

In November 2020, YouTube suspended OANN for a week after it uploaded a video plugging a phony COVID-19 cure. In August, Dominion Voting Systems responded to OANN publicizing lies about its voting machines by suing it for defamation and seeking $1.6 billion in damages; in December, two former Georgia poll workers filed their own defamation suit against OANN, saying its false coverage left them in physical danger.

(Disclosure: I’ve served as a poll worker in Arlington, Va., including the 2020 general election.)

“What One America News can do is take things that Fox would leave on the cutting-room floor,” Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, told me in late 2020 for a Forbes post. Friday, that liberal group celebrated the DirecTV news with a statement from Carusone calling OANN “a cauldron of misinformation and extremism.”

DirecTV’s decision to dump OANN may reflect the service’s new management. After seeing its pay-TV subscriber totals plunge from 21 million in 2016 to an estimated 15 million last year, AT&T unloaded a controlling stake in DirecTV to the private-equity firm TPG Capital. And now the new bosses there seem to have a different mindset about continuing to prop up OANN.

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