Fox News has been pulled from British TV because its audience was so tiny

Fox News has been pulled from the airwaves in Britain because its audience was unsustainably small, the broadcaster said.

The news channel – the most popular in the US – had been carried on Sky for years, but was turned off for good on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m UK time.

A statement from Fox said that the channel was stopped because only around 2,000 people tuned in each day. The figure is so small that the company judged it “not in our commercial interest” to keep it on air.

Both Sky and Fox News were launched by Rupert Murdoch. The media mogul is chairman of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News.

21st Century Fox, in turn, owns 39% of Sky. It is mounting a bid to buy the remaining 61%, but needs the government’s approval.

The two channels have a history of cooperation. Sky News occasionally uses Fox camera feeds for events in the US, and likewise for Fox when they need footage from Europe.

A spokeswoman for Fox told the Guardian: “Fox News is focused on the US market and designed for a US audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the UK.

“We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the UK.”

During its time on air in Britain, Fox News has been subject to a number of investigations by Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator.

In 2015 it was censured after a guest described the city of Birmingham as “totally Muslim,” and claimed it was a no-go zone for people of other faiths. It later accepted that was a “serious factual error.”

Fox does not stream its news coverage online like some competitors. As such, there is no legal way for UK viewers to watch the channel anymore, except via clips which are sometimes posted on the network’s website.