Former Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly’s online program No Spin News has landed a distribution deal with The First, a relatively new conservative network airing on Pluto TV and other platforms.
O’Reilly had been independently broadcasting the show on his website and on YouTube since shortly after he stepped down from Fox News in 2017 over sexual harassment allegations, which he denies.
Now, it will broadcast at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on The First, which is a network that broadcasts over the web and can also be carried by cable or internet TV channels.
“Honest, corporate-free news”
In an announcement, O’Reilly said that his website’s success “will now accelerate” with the new partnership.
“The First will create and distribute honest, corporate-free news and commentary which is desperately needed in America,” he added.
Many of his fans followed him from Fox News, where he consistently topped the network’s ratings for 15 years.
As for The First, it currently offers 45 hours of original and rebroadcast content each week, including radio programming, coronavirus updates, and election coverage.
More options than ever
The addition of such a recognizable name to the lineup could help establish the fledgling brand among a growing range of so-called over-the-top networks competing for viewers.
According to the Hollywood Reporter’s Paul Bond, The First could be among a number of growing conservative networks capable of collectively challenging Fox News Channel’s overwhelming market share.
It also comes at a time in which President Donald Trump is increasingly critical of the coverage his administration is receiving on Fox News. He tweeted in April that viewers, including him, “want an alternative” to his once-favored cable news channel.
Trump has also shown increasing favoritism for One America News Network in recent months, praising its coverage and promoting it via social media.
It remains to be seen whether The First will grow as quickly as OANN and some of its upstart rivals, which also include Breitbart News, Newsmax TV, BlazeTV, Daily Wire, and Salem Media Group. Adding a recognizable name like O’Reilly, who has remained largely popular among his audience despite the accusations against him, seems like a good way to gain momentum.