Fox News breached a number of impartiality rules in the UK before its closure earlier this year, according to British regulator Ofcom. The channel, which ceased broadcasting in the UK on August 29, was found to have breached the rules in January through Hannity and in May through Tucker Carlson Tonight. Ofcom says Hannity made the breach during a segment on Donald Trump’s travel ban at the start of the year, which the regulator called a “major” matter. Separately, it found that accusations made within Carlson’s show following the Manchester bombing did not include sufficient context and contained highly critical statements with no reflection of the views of the UK government. Although Fox closed the station and surrendered its license on November 1, the move will be a blow for Rupert Murdoch’s company as it looks to complete a full takeover of pay-TV operator Sky. Fox’s $15B acquisition is currently under investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
ITV could remove its main channel from Virgin Media’s 3.7M television subscribers if the two companies do not resolve a long-running carriage dispute. The UK commercial broadcaster, which airs shows such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, is reportedly demanding over $100M from the Liberty Global-owned cable service to carry the channel. The threat comes as ITV is able to demand payment from the pay-TV operator after the Digital Economy Act, which was put into legislation earlier this year, changed the rules. “Our position is very straightforward: ITV, and other public service broadcasters, should be paid fairly by pay-TV platforms that make money from our multi-billion pound investment in original UK content so that we can continue to invest in the programs, particularly drama and entertainment, that our viewers enjoy,” said an ITV spokesman. A Virgin Media spokesman responded, “Neither Virgin Media nor our customers will be paying for channels that are meant to be free. ITV is already fully compensated for this through its prominent position, with the audience reach and additional advertising revenue this delivers.”