Former US president Donald Trump regularly called on Chanel Rion of OAN (pictured April 2020) during his press briefings / © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File
Subscription television service DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with One America News Network (OAN), an ultra-conservative, conspiratorial US channel that backs former US president Donald Trump.
"We informed (OAN owner) Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires," a spokesman for DirecTV told AFP Friday.
The deal is due to expire in April, according to a source familiar with the matter.
DirecTV, which is owned by US telecom giant AT&T, did not provide further details for its decision.
OAN is one of the new ultra-conservative players in television news that are trying to nibble away at the market share of Fox News.
Like Newsmax or Real America's Voice, they refused to recognize Donald Trump's defeat in the November 2020 presidential election, instead relaying unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about electoral fraud that were propagated by the former president and his supporters.
In mid-November 2020, for instance, OAN presenter Christina Bobb accused the Democratic Party of preparing "a coup" against Trump.
Trump himself invited his supporters to switch to OAN and Newsmax, and more and more leading Republican figures are appearing on the channels.
OAN saw its audiences climb in the wake of the election, but DirecTV's decision is a serious blow because it is the channel's largest distributor, according to US media.
OAN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP.
A year ago, when Trump supporters stormed Congress in an attempt to stop the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's victory, OAN and Newsmax denounced -- without any supporting evidence -- what they called the infiltration of small groups of ultra-leftists into the crowd of Trump loyalists.