Potential Bill O'Reilly Employer Newsmax TV Comes to AT&T U-Verse, Returns to DirecTV

Christopher Ruddy MSNBC - H - 2017

The right-leaning cable news network was dropped from DirecTV in 2016.

On Friday morning, the right-leaning political news and lifestyle network Newsmax TV announced its triumphant return to DirecTV, along with additional carriage on AT&T U-verse. Combined, the network, which is also available on Verizon FiOS, will now be viewable in nearly 40 million homes, according to a release.

"Newsmax TV has a unique audience of Americans seeking news they can’t get from other major networks," said Newsmax founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy, who has been an ubiquitous presence lately in the news media due to his friendship with President Donald Trump.

The network, which launched in 2014, was dropped from both Dish and DirecTV in 2016. "By doing so, DISH has closed down an important and independent news voice," Newsmax said in a message to DISH subscribers around the time it was dropped. "It is unfortunate DISH would make such a move during this critical election period."

While Newsmax was originally "placed among a suite of shopping channels, unrelated to our news content," the network will now be part of the satellite platform's news bundle.

Newsmax has been in the news recently, as it's been mentioned as a potential landing spot for former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly. The conservative TV network One America News Network has also been mentioned as a suitor.

But, as recently as last Friday, O'Reilly said that he'd only return to TV on a "competitive" network, which seemed to be a nudge in the direction of these smaller, upstart cable networks. 

"It has to be the right vehicle. It has to be a vehicle that's competitive, because I’m having fun," said O'Reilly, who hosts a paid podcast and is planning to launch a digital news service.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Newsmax is also nearing a return to Dish, but the company would not confirm it when asked by The Hollywood Reporter.