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The conservative news and commentary channel Newsmax will return to the lineup of satellite giant DirecTV, nearly two months after a carriage dispute broke out and became a political football.
The companies announced the new deal Wednesday morning, adding that Newsmax will return to DirecTV and its streaming offering on Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though DirecTV says Newsmax will be available at no extra cost to customers.
“This resolution with Newsmax, resolving an all-too-common carriage dispute, underscores our dedication to delivering a wide array of programming and perspectives to all our customers,” said Bill Morrow, DirecTV’s CEO, in a statement. “Through our persistent negotiations, we reached a resolution under mutually-agreeable business terms allowing us to deliver the conservative news network at the right value – a reflection of the free market at work.”
Newsmax can trace its origins on TV to DirecTV, with founder and CEO Chris Ruddy transforming his media company into a TV company thanks in part to a deal with the satellite giant. Newsmax was also available to stream for free online, which became a sticking point in negotiations, as pay-TV providers typically pay for exclusivity.
When Newsmax was pulled from DirecTV in January, it became national news, with a number of high-profile Republican politicians weighing in and threatening to demand hearings featuring Morrow and other executives, and arguing that the satellite company was censoring conservatives.
Ruddy is well-connected in GOP political circles, and in a new statement took a more tempered approach to the dispute.
“Newsmax recognizes and appreciates that DirecTV clearly supports diverse voices, including conservative ones,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax. “As a standalone company, DirecTV gave Newsmax its start nearly a decade ago as it continues to do with upcoming news networks, which is why we are pleased to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will deliver our network to DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-verse customers over the next several years.”
After dropping Newsmax, DirecTV added another conservative channel called The First to its lineup. That channel will continue to be available.
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