Rupert Murdoch and his sons are pulling Fox News off the air in Britain. The network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, has announced that the controversial news channel will no longer be broadcast in the U.K. after failing to attract an audience. The network has also become a lightning rod for critics seeking to spoil the Murdochs’ planned $15 billion takeover of Sky, the top pay TV provider in the U.K.
“Fox News is focused on the U.S. market and designed for a U.S. audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the U.K.,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement. “We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the U.K.,” it added. 21st Century Fox (FOX) said the network’s final broadcast in the U.K. would be Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. local time.
The decision to jettison the network in Britain could help insulate 21st Century Fox from criticism as it seeks to win approval for its takeover of Sky. U.K. culture secretary Karen Bradley said in June that she was likely to refer 21st Century Fox’s purchase of Sky for an additional review, setting the merger up for many additional months of delays.
U.K. media regulator Ofcom ruled in June that the Murdochs and 21st Century Fox qualified as “fit and proper” holders of a U.K. broadcast license. But it also said it had found evidence of “significant failings” at Fox News.
There’s much more about the Sky angle at the link.