After failing to grab people’s attention, Fox News’ parent corporation, 21st Century Fox, decided in November 2017 that the controversial news channel would no longer be carried in the United Kingdom. The network had also been a target for activists hoping to derail the Murdochs’ $15 billion purchase of Sky, the country’s largest pay TV provider.
It was a familiar scene, observers said. Despite its modest TV ratings in the nation, Fox News has received attention and publicity from the media and opponents of the Murdoch family, which owns Fox.
In the past years, the United Kingdom’s media regulator, Ofcom, has chastised Fox News for violating the British television code on many occasions.
The purchase of Sky has been halted due to allegations of wrongdoing at Fox News, with critics citing concern about suspected racial and sexual misconduct at the broadcaster. Karen Bradley, the British Culture Secretary, had been forced to decide whether to send the tie-up for a six-month investigation. Although Ofcom confirmed Fox as a suitable holder of broadcast licenses in June, the watchdog expressed reservations about “major failures of the workplace culture at Fox News.”
Despite the claims of misconduct, Fox News stated the exit was due to low ratings. In a response to NPR, the news and entertainment firm noted,
“Fox News is geared to the US market and developed for a US viewership.” “As a result, it barely receives a few thousand views every day in the United Kingdom.” “We have realized that providing Fox News in the United Kingdom is not in our long-term interests.”
In another angle, analysts feel the Murdochs’ decision to shut down Fox News in Britain may have been intended to reduce the likelihood that Bradley would refer the transaction to the Competition and Markets Authority and slow the deal. They called on Bradley not to be “deceived by the pretty pitiful effort to dupe her”.