21st Century Fox and its owner Rupert Murdoch's long time ambition to take complete control of the United Kingdom's Sky TV has been nothing less than a soap opera. Sky, which is the biggest pay-TV service provider in the UK, is the subject of a $15.1 billion bid from 21st Century Fox. Amid concerns about the recent controversies in relation to Fox News, the company has decided to take Fox News off the air in the UK in order to save their bid.

A drastic step

Over the many decades that Rupert Murdoch has dominated the media industry, he has been known to take tough decisions to further grow his business. His company 21st Century Fox's decision to pull Fox News off the air in the United Kingdom is one such move.

The company is in the midst of a takeover of Sky, and this decision might tilt the balance in favor of Murdoch as the deal gets scrutinized by regulators. The revelations about sexual harassment and racial discrimination at the US-based network have raised eyebrows in the UK and went on to affect the negotiations for the Sky takeover.

Claire Enders, an expert at a media research firm, spoke to Bloomberg and stated that this particular step definitely gives a boost to Murdoch's bid for Sky. 21st Century Fox stated, “We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News 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."

Tough sell

Murdoch's plan to take over complete control of Sky has always been a thorny issue in the UK due to the fear that his network will then have a monopoly on the pay-TV market.

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The UK regulatory body Ofcom had cleared the take over back in June earlier this year, but at the same time made public its concerns about the corporate culture at Fox News. However, the UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has stated that following the Fox News fiasco in the US, she might order a further probe into the takeover that could take up to six months.

It seems that the decision to pull Fox off the airwaves in the UK has a lot to do with Bradley's stance and is clearly an attempt to save the multi-billion dollar deal to take control of Sky. Although 21st Century Fox has dressed this up as a purely commercial decision, the powers that be in the UK are well aware of the motivations behind such a move, and top Labour Party leader Ed Miliband stated that the deal should not be allowed to go through at all.