July 25, 2022

Like DirectTV, Verizon Fios finally dumped OAN Network from their cable tiers. Via The Verge:

Verizon Fios is the latest provider to drop One American News (OAN) network, a move that leaves the right-wing news channel without a major carrier, as reported earlier by The Daily Beast. In a notice on its website, Verizon explains viewers will no longer have access to OAN starting July 31st.

“Our negotiation with OAN has been a typical, business-as-usual carriage negotiation like those that routinely happen between content distributors and content providers,” Verizon said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “These negotiations were focused on economics, as they always are, but OAN failed to agree to fair terms.” Verizon didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.

In other words, "we didn't do this because of their odious, anti-democracy content, but because we don't really make any money off these guys." Coincidentally, OAN attacked Verizon the previous week for publishing a guide to misinformation on their site.

Media Matters has been pounding this particular drum for a long time, pointing out that since hate channels like OAN and Fox News don't support themselves with advertising, cable companies are subsidizing hate with their fees.

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.

I don't see any of these companies having the backbone to anytime soon take on the predictable backlash from rabid Fox fans (you know, the people with guns), but you never know.

In the meantime, haters can still get their fix on AT&T.

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