Sky stops broadcasting Fox News in UK

Airing the controversial, rightwing channel is no longer regarded as commercially viable

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Rupert Murdoch’s US media group 21st Century Fox has withdrawn Fox News from Sky in the UK, saying it is no longer in its “commercial interest” to broadcast the channel.

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The rightwing channel, which has been available on Sky in the UK for 15 years, ceased to air at 4pm on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox said: “[Fox] 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 spokesperson said that Fox News only reached about 2,000 average daily viewers in the UK, however figures from the Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board (Barb) suggest that the number was closer to 60,000.

The media company has denied that the withdrawal of the channel in the UK is related to their takeover bid for Sky.

An attempt by 21st Century Fox to buy a 61% stake in the satellite broadcaster was made in December but Fox News has been a point of contention as it is currently at the centre of a sexual harassment scandal that led to the departure of presenter Bill O’Reilly and the late chairman Roger Ailes.

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Ofcom, the UK media regulator, has also made several rulings against Fox News in the past year. One of the most famous blunders was a broadcast which featured a guest who said that Birmingham in the UK was a no-go zone for non-Muslims.