A recent Guardian article says that the “rightwing US channel Fox News” is off the air in the UK after a 15-year tenure.
Rupert Murdoch, the president of 21st Century Fox, said it would withdraw Fox News from Sky in the UK because he and the network “no longer see the service as commercially viable.”
Only about 2,000 UK viewers a day tune into Fox.
There is some speculation that the decision to stop broadcasting Fox News is connected to Fox’s proposal to take over UK-based Sky for £11.7 billion. However, sources say the decision has nothing to do with the takeover bid.
“[Fox] has decided to cease providing a feed of Fox News Channel in the UK,” a spokeswoman for the company said. “Fox News is focused on the US market and designed for a US audience, and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the UK. We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the UK.”
But there’s a bit more to the story than that.
Fox has been in the spotlight over the past year as Ofcom, the British media regulator, ruled against Fox in a number of cases.
One particularly high-profile case was when the network broke UK broadcasting rules by airing pro-Brexit views on the day of the EU referendum and accusing the BBC of being like a “running ad for Remain.” It also had a program last year that featured a guest who said that Birmingham is a city “where non-Muslims simply don’t go.”
Fox News is not streamed live online in the UK, so the couple thousand or so people who watch the program will have to settle for clips of Fox News programming instead.
Ofcom has examined Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky and filed a report with the government saying that it found “there are no broadcasting standards concerns which may justify a reference by the secretary of state to the Competition and Markets Authority.”
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