×

21st Century Fox Pulls U.K. Fox News Feed From Sky

Fox News is no longer available in the U.K. now that 21st Century Fox has decided to drop the feed of its U.S. news channel from the Sky satellite platform.

Fox said in a statement the decision was made because the channel has very little viewership and is not a money-maker for Sky. There is no doubt that the decision was influenced by the pending U.K. regulatory review of Fox’s $15 billion takeover of Sky. The Fox News feed was dropped earlier on Tuesday.

“21CF has decided to cease providing a feed of Fox News Channel in the U.K.,” Fox said in a statement. 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.  We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the U.K.”

Fox News has been a source of ammunition for critics of Fox’s takeover of Sky, who point to the channel’s strong conservative opinion programming as evidence of bias. Given the low viewership and the fact that Fox News does not tailor the feed for the U.K. market, it was an easy call to yank the feed from Sky.

21st Century Fox at present is awaiting word on the next phase of the merger review. In June, Culture Minister Karen Bradley said she was inclined to refer the matter on for additional study on whether the Murdoch clan would have too much control of the U.K. media landscape. At the same time, Bradley and regulator Ofcom expressly stated that the businesses controlled by the Murdochs had passed the “fit and proper” test .

Fox critics had pointed to the stream of sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits against Fox News-affiliated personalities as evidence that the Murdochs should not be allowed to expand their ownership of Sky beyond the 39% that 21st Century Fox already owns. Bradley and Ofcom’s decision on the “fit and proper” question was a victory for Fox even as the deal review was extended over media concentration concerns.

Sources said Fox’s decision to pull the Fox News feed was an effort to remove any more qualitative discussions about Fox News’ programming in connection with the U.K. review. Because the channel typically had fewer than 2,000 viewers a day, Sky actually incurred some costs in maintaining the 24/7 feed.

More TV

  • HBO Asia and Catchplay Team up

    HBO Asia and Catchplay Team up for ‘The World Between Us’

    Pan-regional pay-TV group HBO Asia and Taiwan-based streaming video company Catchplay are to jointly distribute Taiwanese crime drama “The World Between Us.” The 10-part series will air from March. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Lin Chun-Yang (“The Soul If Bread”) and written by the Lu Shih-Yuan (“Dear Ex”), “World” plunges into the aftermath of a mass [...]

  • BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact Sign

    NATPE: BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact for Six Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — BTF Media, producer of breakout series “Hasta Que te Conocí” and “El Secreto de Selena,” is teaming with Vince Gerardis, a co-executive producer with George Martin on “Game of Thrones,” on a six-project co-production alliance. Spearheaded at BTF Media by founder-partner Ricardo Coeto, the agreement takes in the development and co-production of the [...]

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • Young Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie:

    James Gandolfini's Son Michael Gandolfini Cast as Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie

    Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young Tony Soprano in “The Many Saints of Newark,” the  prequel movie to the television series “The Sopranos.” “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Gandolfini said. “I’m thrilled that I am [...]

  • Ray Romano

    TV Roundup: Netflix Releases First Trailer For New Ray Romano Stand Up Special (Watch)

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Netflix teases new stand up special “Ray Romano: Right Here, Around The Corner.” FIRST LOOKS Ray Romano returns for his first stand up comedy special in 23 years with “Ray Romano: Right Here, Around The Corner.” Doing two shows in one night in Manhattan, Romano riffs on friends, marriage, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content