On Tuesday, media giant 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA - Free Report) announced that it has stopped broadcasting news channel Fox News in the United Kingdom amid the company’s planned $15 billion takeover of top pay TV provider Sky.
21st Century Fox said the decision was ultimately a business one. Despite the many sexual harassment scandals that plagued the network, Fox News, popular among conservative viewers in the U.S., is still one of the top cable news shows in the country.
"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.," 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.," the company added.
Marketwatch noted that Fox News went off U.K. airwaves at 4:00 PM British time, and according to sources, the channel only averaged about 2,000 viewers a day.
Last December, Fox initially proposed the multi-billion-dollar deal to acquire the remaining 61% of Sky that it doesn’t already own. And while the European Commission approved the deal back in April, U.K. culture secretary Karen Bradley said in June that she would likely refer the takeover for additional review with the country’s media watchdogs.
In particular, Bradley said she was concerned that the Fox-Sky deal would give the Murdoch family too much power and influence in the media industry, especially over British media; the Murdochs currently control three British newspapers: The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times.
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