One America News (OAN) was dealt another major blow when Verizon announced that it would quit carrying the far-right cable news channel on its FiOS service, effective this Saturday, July 30. This comes after OAN being dropped by AT&T’s DirecTV in April.
Journalists Jeremy W. Peters and Benjamin Mullin, in an article published by the New York Times on July 26, stresses that between Verizon and DirectTV, OAN has lost access to millions of potential viewers. DirecTV has around 15 million subscribers, while Verizon FiOS has around 3.5 million.
“OAN’s remaining audience will be small,” Peters and Mullin explain. “The network will soon be available only to a few hundred thousand people who subscribe to smaller cable providers, such as Frontier and GCI Liberty, said Scott Robson, a senior research analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence. OAN also sells its programming directly to users through its OAN Live and KlowdTV streaming platforms, but those products most likely provide a fraction of the revenue generated by traditional TV providers.
By losing Verizon, the Times reporters note, OAN has lost a “a major stream of revenue: the fees it collects from Verizon.” Robson told the Times, “I really think this is the death blow for the network.”
Like its competitor Newsmax TV, OAN prides itself on being to the right of Fox News and Fox Business and even more pro-Donald Trump than those outlets.
According to Peters and Mullin, “While OAN doesn’t have the influence wielded by the much larger Fox News, the top-rated cable news network, the fees from its deals with Verizon and AT&T provided a substantial stream of income, about $36 million a year by some estimates. And once it is gone from millions of television sets, OAN will be in a weaker bargaining position with advertisers — fewer potential viewers most likely mean fewer companies willing to pay as much to promote their products on the network.”
Peters and Mullin note that losing Verizon after losing DirecTV “comes at a particularly bad time for OAN” because of the lawsuits it is facing from the voting technology companies Dominion and Smartmatic, both of which have also filed defamation lawsuits against Fox News and Newsmax. Following the 2020 presidential election, Fox News, OAN and Newsmax all promoted the Big Lie — which falsely claims that the election was stolen from then-President Trump.
“The voting technology companies Smartmatic and Dominion are suing OAN over false claims that their machines enabled Mr. Trump’s enemies to switch votes cast for him to President Biden,” Peters and Mullin observe. “One employee of Dominion, Eric Coomer, is also suing the network. Mr. Coomer received death threats after OAN named him in a report as an alleged collaborator of Antifa, the far-left movement…. For OAN, the litigation has so far not gone well, as judges have rejected its attempts to have the cases dismissed.”
The Times reporters add, “In one ruling, a judge concluded that OAN had acted “maliciously and consciously” in perpetuating falsehoods about Dominion, and that its chief White House correspondent, Chanel Rion, had failed to exercise even the most minimal journalistic scrutiny. In her report, Ms. Rion cited a conservative podcaster and activist, Joe Oltmann, who claimed to have eavesdropped on an Antifa conference call before the election. She reported that ‘Antifa-drenched engineers are hell bent on deleting half of America’s voice’ and referred to Mr. Coomer.”