One America News asks viewers to pitch Comcast, Charter on carriage

The One America News Network (OAN) is asking viewers to pitch cable companies Charter and Comcast on a new carriage agreement after two pay TV providers dropped the channel from their line-ups in recent months.

This week, Verizon Fios became the latest pay TV provider to announce it would remove the conservative-leaning channel, with a spokesperson suggesting a carriage fee increase was the main reason behind its decision to drop OAN.

"Our negotiation with OAN has been a typical, business-as-usual carriage negotiation like those that routinely happen between content distributors and content providers," a spokesperson for Verizon said, as first reported by the website Ars Technica. "These negotiations were focused on economics — as they always are — but OAN failed to agree to fair terms."

Verizon Fios subscribers will still have until July 31 to continue watching the channel as part of their pay TV subscription. On that date, Verizon will also remove A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE), a sister-channel to OAN that is focused on lifestyle programming. Both OAN and AWE are owned by Herring Networks, a media company based in San Diego.

The decision to drop OAN will reduce the network's reach by about 3.6 million customers. It comes less than four months after national satellite broadcaster DirecTV decided to pull the channel from its service, which triggered a lawsuit from Herring Networks.

In the lawsuit, attorneys for Herring Networks said a decision by DirecTV to drop the network could financially cripple the media enterprise to the point that it might become insolvent and go out of business. Earlier this year, the financial news outlet Reuters reported on a deposition in which a Herring Networks executive affirmed One America News was launched in part to provide DirecTV and other pay TV providers an alternate to the Fox News Channel, which offers conservative-leaning opinion programming as part of its daily schedule.

AT&T, the former parent company of DirecTV, said the lawsuit filed by Herring Networks had "no merit," according to the Los Angeles Times. Last month, both sides agreed to temporarily halt proceedings in the lawsuit as they engaged in settlement negotiations, according to a court record reviewed by Fierce Video.

In the weeks since DirecTV dropped the channel, OAN has lobbied customers of other pay TV companies — specifically, Comcast (which offers service under the Xfinity brand) and Charter (Spectrum) — to encourage their pay TV providers to carry the channel.

"OAN has tried for years to get on Comcast and Charter Spectrum TV," a digital ad for OAN says. The ad claims customers are "paying for liberal mainstream media news" — presumably because networks like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are carried widely on Comcast and Charter’s systems across the country — while OAN says that the cost of carrying their channel is "one-fifth the rate of MSNBC," though it cited no specific data to support that claim.

In the meantime, conservative news enthusiasts who want their OAN fix will have a few other options to get the channel. Traditional cable systems Frontier, Consolidated Communications and GCI offer the channel in several regions. Streaming services Vidgo and Klowd TV also offer OAN, with the latter charging just $2.50 a month or $30 a year to get OAN, AWE and a handful of other niche television networks.

In addition to its live network, OAN offers a standalone subscription to its news channel for $5 a month or $53 a year. A free, linear channel called OAN Plus (formerly OAN Encore) that aggregates clips from the channel's news and opinion programming is carried on Vizio SmartCast Plus, the Roku Channel, Pluto TV and Local Now.