DIRECTV has been a strong partner to Newsmax; we were the first to launch their channel and we have given them broader carriage than any other pay-TV provider on the basis of the percentage of our subscribers they have reached. Our previous contract for carrying Newsmax was set to expire at midnight on January 15 but both sides agreed to extend it to January 24 to continue negotiations.
However, despite DIRECTV’s continued requests January 24, Newsmax refused to renew our agreement on the same terms that they’ve benefited from for many years. As a result, in accordance with applicable copyright laws, and not having Newsmax’s authorization to continue carriage, carriage was discontinued.
DIRECTV did not seek this outcome. However, we did not feel we could reasonably expect our subscribers to pay for the tens of millions of dollars in additional licensing fees that Newsmax was demanding in return for continued carriage. We remain willing and eager to carry Newsmax programming on economically reasonable terms.
As of this writing, we are actively engaged in negotiations with Newsmax and we remain hopeful that those negotiations will bear fruit. Last Thursday, speaking at the annual CPAC convention the CEO of Newsmax Media, Christopher Ruddy acknowledged that both sides want a deal, and described himself as hopeful that one will materialize.
DIRECTV’s value proposition for our customers is providing them with broad spectrum of programming from diverse points of view and we will continue to work to do so. I can assure you that our decisions in this dispute have been based on economics and not ideology.
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