Licensed to Fox News

Fox News is expanding: Project Europe

The US broadcaster is expanding its offering and also wants to reach audiences in Germany. A streaming offer is to start from September.

The fox is around - soon not only in the USA Photo: Christopher Drost / imago

A news channel from the USA is expanding internationally and, from mid-September, will be honoring Germany as well as Spain and Great Britain with its program. Because the classic distribution channels via real channels are no longer necessary today, everything takes place via live stream and app. So they are still modern too. So nobody can really object. But you have to. Because it's Fox News.

They are “excited to be able to offer our loyal international audience direct access to news and in-depth analysis that they trust,” applauds Fox News boss Suzanne Scott in a press release. "Devoted audience" is what it says in the American original. And exactly here lies the problem. At Fox News, there has been no talk of independent, fair journalism for a long time. More likely by followers who are downright believers and who let themselves be blinded as if by a bad sermon.

Fox News has come a long way. From the beginning, the station, which was launched in 1995, was the loyal stirrup holder of the Republicans, especially the arch-conservative faction in the party. After all, the owner of the shop is still called Rupert Murdoch to this day. But like many in this party, Fox News has at some point lost its appetite for reason and not only dutifully carried out the turnaround to the muddled heads of the new right and the conspiracy theorists, but always continued to give the monkey sugar. Donald Trump as president would be inconceivable without Fox News.

In his book The Room Where Everything Happened, Trump's former security advisor John Bolton describes how the president rarely appears on the political scene before eleven o'clock in the morning, but prefers to watch Fox News a few hours beforehand. What he takes with him there has more influence than the experts in his own government. The downplaying coverage of the corona pandemic and the risk situation for the USA on Fox News are just one negative example of many.

Air is getting thinner

However, "Potus" (President Of the United States) is now saying more and more about his former buddies in the company, because every now and then journalistic brain twitches. Fox News is still the most successful news channel on American television. But now there is competition.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group, with almost 200 local and regional stations in the USA, is a giant that has so far been little known internationally. As early as 2016, the CEO tried the ultimate ingratiating Trump: “We are here to deliver your message”, loosely translated “We are ready to get your messages across to the people,” he had publicly reported to the presidential candidate. But Trump's new love is called OAN - One America News. The president currently likes to retweet enthusiastically reports from the channel, whose "journalists" also cite the ludicrous fantasies of the QAnon movement as a serious source.

So the air is getting thinner in the US for Fox News. What may have led to the thinking in the group, then to make up for ground in populist undersupplied foreign countries. In Europe, Putin's channel RT is struggling, in this country even with the German-language offshoot RT Deutsch. But so far there has been no success. Fox News could do better here with its pseudo-serious paint job. The price of 6.99 dollars (just under 6 euros) a month shouldn't be too daunting and English is no longer a problem today.

Prevent disinformation

Since the planned streaming offer from Fox News is clearly a TV program, the channel would in principle have to apply for a corresponding television license from the state media authorities (ALM). But so far no corresponding application for approval has been received, according to the taz request.

Because "if Fox News has a corresponding license in other EU countries, they could use it to broadcast the program across the EU via live streaming," said ALM spokeswoman Anja Bundschuh, and would not need a separate license for Germany. Fox News is already licensed in Spain and therefore meets these requirements. However, this also means that it will be difficult for German media regulators to intervene against future crude programs and possible disinformation in the Fox News offer for Germany. Because it is then formally not responsible at all.