Sky to stop broadcasting right-wing Fox News in UK

Rupert Murdoch’s parent company decides not in commercial interest to show channel

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of 21st Century Fox. The UK government is reviewing the US company’s planned £11.7bn takeover of Sky. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of 21st Century Fox. The UK government is reviewing the US company’s planned £11.7bn takeover of Sky. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

 

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has decided to pull right-wing Fox News from UK airwaves.

The decision comes amid a government review of the US company’s planned £11.7 billion (€12.6bn) takeover of Sky, which could potentially face an in-depth investigation on competition concerns.

A spokeswoman for 21st Century Fox (21CF) said: “21CF has decided to cease providing a feed of Fox News Channel in the UK.

“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.”

The US-focused channel – which was taken off air at 4pm on Tuesday – had about 2,000 daily viewers, while its broadcasting agreement with Sky was set to expire by year-end.

It is understood that a growing number of complaints had been lodged against Fox News in the UK, particularly in the wake of 21CF’s bid for Sky.

Mr Murdoch’s media business is hoping to acquire the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own, raising concerns that this would mean handing the tycoon’s family increased influence of the UK news agenda.

PA