On Friday night, news broke that DirecTV would not be renewing its contract with One America News Network, which expires in April. DirecTV is by far OAN’s biggest carrier, and the network depends heavily on it. According to an OAN accountant’s sworn testimony in 2019, the network’s value “would be zero” without the DirecTV deal it’s going to lose now in two and a half months.
Without DirecTV, OAN has only two national carriers left -- CenturyLink Prism, which appears to be in the process of discontinuing service nationwide, and Verizon FiOS TV, which makes OAN available to 3.7 million subscribers, though its service is also struggling to retain customers. According to OAN’s website, the network is domestically available in some areas of 32 states and Puerto Rico on a thicket of local TV distributors, including Frontier Communications.
OAN also remains available on Roku, with 55 million active users, and Amazon Fire TV, with 50 million users, and is also on the significantly smaller streaming platforms Vidgo and KlowdTV, which is owned by OAN’s parent company, Herring Networks. OAN frequently uploads videos to Rumble, and to its iOS and Android apps, though streaming the channel is not an available option. Some of OAN’s biggest shows are also available as podcasts on iHeart, the largest radio broadcaster in the country.
Losing DirecTV’s subscriber base is a potential death blow for OAN as it currently exists. The network has asked viewers to help OAN get picked up by both Charter Communications and Comcast, though neither TV service has shown any public interest and they would likely be even less interested now that the channel has become known for outlandish conspiracy theories, perverse bigotry, and violent fantasies of mass executions.
The ongoing defamation lawsuits brought separately by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic over OAN’s coverage of the 2020 elections also threaten its future, potentially to the tune of over $1.6 billion. Between the lawsuits and the content, no TV provider has any reason to want such radioactive dead weight.
However, the Herring family -- which owns OAN -- is independently wealthy, and founder Robert Herring Sr. is highly litigious. In a 2012 deposition, Herring reportedly said that “if I believe I’m right, I will go to the end,” even if a settlement would cost less money. As long as the Herrings are determined, OAN and the danger it poses cannot be counted out yet.