Fact check: False claim that Canada, UK barred Fox News from distribution – USA TODAY

4ea26f29 3714 418d 8a26 67bcabb98375 VPC US CAN BORDER REOPENS wide adobe

play

The claim: U.K. discontinued Fox News and Canada won’t grant Fox News a license to operate

Widespread social media posts claim several countries are limiting Fox News’ ability to broadcast abroad.

“U.K. discontinued Fox’s license & threw them out, & Canada won’t grant Fox a license to operate there,” reads the text of the Facebook post shared on Nov. 11. “We need to do this!”

The post generated close to 500 likes in less than a week. Another social media user shared the post that received over 1000 likes, though it was later deleted.

But the claim is false.

Fox News is still operating in Canada, a spokesperson of Canada’s regulatory broadcast commission, told USA TODAY. And Fox News itself made the decision to pull out of the U.K due to a lack of viewers, 21st Century Fox, the parent company of the channel, told CNN.

Fact check: False claim about Queen Elizabeth II circulates online

Independent fact-checking organizations have previously debunked the claim that Fox News was banned from Canada.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment

Fox News left the U.K. on its own

Fox News decided to stop broadcasting in the U.K. in 2017 and surrendered its license to the Office of Communications, the broadcast regulatory agency in the UK, according to an Ofcom spokesperson. 

​​​​”This was a decision taken by Fox News,” the agency said in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.

Staying in the U.K. was not in the company’s “commercial interest,”  21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News at the time, told CNN in 2017.

“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 to CNN

Fact check: False claim that Australia is freezing bank accounts of unvaccinated

When Fox News pulled out of the U.K., the telecom agency released a statement in its Nov. 2017 bulletin confirming that the channel discontinued on its own.

USA TODAY reached out to Fox News for comment.

Fox News still operates in Canada

The poster is also wrong in claiming that Canada won’t grant Fox News a license to operate.

Fox News is authorized for distribution in Canada, according to a spokesperson for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which regulates the country’s broadcasting systems. 

The channel can be found on the revised list of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution on the commission’s website, along with Fox Business Network and FOX Sports Racing, owned by Fox Corporation.

“Being approved to be on (the) list means that a Canadian (broadcaster) has the authorization to distribute the service,” the CRTC spokesperson told USA TODAY via email.

The service is not modified in any way for the Canadian market, according to the spokesperson. Canadians get the same feeds that are shown in the US.

Michael Hennessy, then acting president of the Canadian Cable Television Association, sent a request to the commission in 2003 to “add a number of non-Canadian programming services” in Canada, with one being Fox News, according to an archived commission report

Fact check: Food insecurity ad shown in viral TikTok video originated in US, not abroad

However, it was rejected by the Canadian commission due in part to a failure to provide information typically required for such applications. The commission, however, approved Fox News in 2004. 

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the U.K. discontinued Fox News and Canada won’t grant Fox News a license to operate. Fox News made the decision to pull out of the U.K. because of minimal viewers. And Fox News is also still operating in Canada. 

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.