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 ( 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.
The British government ruled in June that 21st Century Fox should not be allowed to purchase Sky without further investigation, a decision that set the merger up for many additional months of delays.
U.K. culture secretary Karen Bradley said the transaction could give the Murdoch family too much influence over British media.
The Murdochs already control three British newspapers — The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.
The additional review would be conducted by Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority.
This is the Murdochs’ second attempt to buy Sky. A previous bid collapsed in 2012 in the wake of a phone-hacking scandal at his British newspapers. Fox would have to pay Sky £200 million as a break fee if the deal falls apart.
Sky ( has 22 million customers in five European markets: Italy, Germany, Austria, the U.K. and Ireland. )