Moments ago, The Daily Beast reported that Verizon, OAN’s last remaining major carrier, will not be renewing its contract with OAN.
Media Matters president Angelo Carusone released the following statement:
OAN is a cauldron of conspiracy theories, extremism, and lies. Advertisers don’t want much to do with the network because of its content. It was able to exist all these years in its current form only because it was being subsidized by AT&T/DirecTV and Verizon.
Verizon was the last major cable provider still funding OAN. Earlier this year, DirecTV finally recognized that it was both irresponsible and bad for business to continue to subsidize OAN. Almost immediately after DirecTV dropped the network, OAN began scaling back its programming. Losing Verizon is like the final nail in the coffin for OAN.
No other cable company should throw them a lifeline by picking them up.
It also signals rough waters ahead for Fox News. Fox News’ cable contracts are up for renewal toward the end of 2022. OAN peddled extremism and lies, was largely unappealing to advertisers, and charged cable providers a wildly inflated fee. Much like OAN, Fox News foments extremism, promotes disinformation, and relies on artificially inflated cable fees more than it does advertisers (due to the advertiser community’s unease with Fox’s content).
While cable companies may not drop Fox News, their interactions with OAN demonstrate that perhaps they are finally done with subsidizing content that is otherwise not commercially viable.
Media Matters and other organizations have been asking OAN’s cable providers to drop the channel and prospective providers to decline from picking up the channel.
Following DirecTV’s decision to drop the network earlier this year, Verizon has been the biggest cable provider which platformed OAN. Last week, Media Matters noted that the network had repeatedly attacked Verizon on air as their deal was about to expire.
Media Matters has documented OAN’s noxious coverage, including a deadly push against COVID-19 vaccines, horrifying anti-LGBTQ content, and a network-wide assault on elections meant to hype bogus claims of fraud and overturn the 2020 results. In fact, on the night of the storming of the Capitol building on January 6, OAN suggested that the attack was justification for then-vice president Mike Pence to overturn election results.
In the lead-up to the 2022 midterms, OAN has promoted Big Lie supporters running for key statewide elected positions with more than 100 interviews. The election attacks include a now former OAN reporter’s nonprofit seeking to fund fraudulent election “audits” around the country, a demented obsession with the MyPillow CEO and his money, and a correspondent’s call for mass executions of election officials.