DirecTV Stream subscribers will soon have access to The First TV, aka The First, channel. For those unfamiliar with the channel, The First TV is advertised as a conservative opinion and commentary network. This is particularly notable as DirecTV Stream has recently been accused of political bias by Newsmax.
Back in 2022, DirecTV Stream dropped OAN from its channel lineup. Earlier this week, Newsmax was also dropped from the lineup as well. While DirecTV Stream claimed the removal of the channel was strictly a cost-related decision, Newsmax suggested that it was politically-driven and censorship.
One day later and DirecTV has now confirmed that The First TV is being added to DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-verse. While an exact date as to when the channel will go live was not provided, the announcement does state that the network is set to launch on the streaming service in the coming days.
In what could be seen as a direct reference to the recent Newsmax events, DirecTV Stream states that “The First will remain a free channel” and that DirecTV Stream subscribers will be able to watch it “without any extra fees” and even make use of TV Everywhere support to watch directly through the network’s website.
Again, this pricing issue seemed to be at the heart of the debate with Newsmax. While Newsmax wanted to be paid what it considered to be a fair licensing fee based on popularity and views, DirecTV seemed to take issue with paying for a channel that had previously been free.
DirecTV Stream had stated that passing on “significant fees” related to increased channel costs to customers was “not an option.” Based on this latest development, it would seem DirecTV Stream has simply opted to replace Newsmax with a network that is currently free to watch.
Even before 2023 started, DirecTV had already a confirmed a price increase that would affect all of its plans. That price increased rolled out this week, taking the cheapest Entertainment plan up to a minimum of $75 per month and the most expensive Premier plan up to a minimum of $155 per month.