January 24, 2023

"Nice little business you got here. It would be a shame if something happened to it."

Okay, GOP House members weren't that obvious, but close. RawStory reports that GOPers are all worked up about DirecTV planning to drop Newsmax from their channel lineup.

“If Newsmax is removed from DIRECTV, in less than a year House Republicans will have lost two of the three cable news channels that reach conservative voters on a platform that primarily serves conservative-leaning areas of the country,” read the letter, sent by first-term Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX), a regular guest on the network.

The letter, which was co-signed by 41 GOP lawmakers, accused the carrier and its corporate owners, AT&T and TPG Capital, of “moving to de-platform Newsmax by denying it cable fees on a fair and equitable basis,” and referenced comments from Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that described Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN as "misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds."

“Given the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee over your companies’ business interests, it is reasonable to assume you took this letter seriously and complied with these demands,” the letter said.

OH NOES!!!! It was all a giant PLOT by woke liberals to deprive MAGAts of their daily minimum requirement of propaganda and Republicans must stop them!

Or: Maybe these channels just aren't worth the money? Like when Verizon dropped OAN, and the nation went into mourning.

See, right wing channels charge carrier fees to the cable providers, who then lose money on the deal. Even the Mother Ship, Fox, costs them. So wingnut channels are essentially subsidized by viewers. (You know, us.)

As DirecTV pointed out, Newsmax wants license fees from carriers -- while making the same content available for free on YouTube and streaming services.

Approximately 70 million people subscribe to cable and other TV-channel providers. According to Variety, only 17 percent are regular Fox News viewers.

For Fox News, those fees add up to about $1.8 billion a year — or about 50 percent more than the network makes from advertising.

The fees that Fox charges cable companies – and that cable companies pass on to you – are called licensing fees, or carriage fees. Without them, Fox News would be a losing financial proposition. Hell, all of Fox Corporation would be a losing financial proposition.

So yes, they are subsidized by us, too. And while it's a relatively small cluster of viewers, I suspect the reason why more carriers don't drop Fox is that their rage-filled viewers have guns -- and they're just looking for an excuse to use them.

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