Frontier drops Newsmax

Shortly after Newsmax resolved a contentious carriage dispute with DirecTV, another pay TV provider has dropped the conservative news channel from its lineup, this time Frontier Communications.

First reported by NextTV, Frontier dropped the channel this week, along with Fuse Media channels Fuse and FM.

Reached by Fierce Video, a Frontier spokesperson said, “Our contract with Newsmax TV expired, and we made the business decision not to renew our agreement. These decisions are informed by customer viewership and programming costs.”

Additionally, “Newsmax programming is available for free on numerous platforms for those who want it,” the Frontier spokesperson continued.

As for Newsmax, the network in a statement provided to Fierce suggested the move was political – echoing a similar sentiment it pushed regarding DirecTV’s decision until the two reached a new deal.

“Since we began renewals last year, 99% of our operators have renewed, representing about 98% of our subscribers,” stated Newsmax. “Frontier’s decision was clearly political, because they will lose far more money in cancellations and lost business without Newsmax.”

After losing the channel in late January, the battle between DirecTV and Newsmax got combative as the network took to its news outlet mediums to claim the satellite provider was trying to stifle conservative viewpoints, with Republican lawmakers and certain community leaders also weighing in with concerns. DirecTV, meanwhile, insisted it was all about business and trying to control rising costs sought by content owners, and specifically Newsmax which had previously been on an ad-supported revenue share model but in recent negotiations sought carriage fees, that are then passed on to subscribers.

After the months-long dispute, Newsmax and DirecTV in late March reached a new deal that saw the 24-7 channel restored on the operator’s systems including DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-Verse.

Frontier’s decision not to renew Newsmax may not turn into as much of a spectacle as DirecTV, as the latter has around 13.1 million of pay TV customers while Frontier’s video subscriber tally is much smaller, standing at 294,000 as of the end of 2022.

Frontier itself is also pivoting away from offering its own pay TV service as it focuses on high-value fiber internet customers. In recent weeks it announced that YouTube TV will now serve as its main video product for new subscribers, with Frontier integrating billing for the vMVPD service on customers’ telco bill and offering discounts for the first year.