A Twitter post with over 9,000 likes as of Dec. 15 claims Fox News has been banned in Canada and the United Kingdom. This isn’t the first time a claim like this has been spread online. On Nov. 11, a Facebook post suggested the U.K. had “discontinued Fox’s license” and “Canada won’t grant Fox a license to operate there.”
Is Fox News banned in Canada and the U.K.?
No, Fox News is not banned in Canada or the U.K.
WHAT WE FOUND
A Fox News spokesperson told VERIFY these claims are false. Fox News currently airs in Canada, and it was not banned in the U.K. Instead, the network decided to stop broadcasting there in 2017.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the addition of Fox News to its list of eligible satellite services for distribution on a digital basis in 2004.
“Fox News is a non-Canadian programming service that is authorized for distribution in Canada,” a CRTC spokesperson told VERIFY. “Being approved to be on [the] list means that a Canadian broadcast distribution undertaking [BDU] has the authorization to distribute the service. The service is essentially carried as is and not modified in any way for the Canadian market. In other words, Canadians get the same feed as that shown in the US.”
In the U.K, broadcast communications are regulated by the Office of Communications (Ofcom). An Ofcom spokesperson told VERIFY via email that Fox News decided to stop broadcasting in the U.K. on Aug. 29, 2017. An Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin published in 2017 shows Fox News surrendered its license to Ofcom on Nov. 1, 2017.
“This was a decision taken by Fox News, as confirmed by the statement the organisation issued at the time,” the Ofcom spokesperson said.
Fox News’ former parent company, 21st Century Fox, told several news organizations, such as the BBC, CNN and NPR, that the decision to take the channel off the air in the U.K. was due to low viewership.
"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 2017. "We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the U.K."
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