Fox Corp. has taken the unprecedented step of offering Americans unlimited access to the crown jewel of its media empire, cable outlet Fox News Channel, during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to making Fox News available to the entire nation, regardless of whether users have a cable or satellite subscription, the company said it will also provide access to its Fox Television Stations around the country for latest news and updates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By partnering with our pay-TV partners, Fox will make Fox News Channel and the Fox Television Stations available to all of their customers, regardless of their specific package, at no additional fee,” Fox Corporation said in a statement.
The company says it will also leverage its own distribution platforms to stream Fox News and Fox TV stations for free, and across a variety of streaming platforms.
FNC will be available for free on FoxNews.com, the Fox News app, Fox.com, and the Fox Now app. Fox’s 29 owned and operated stations will be available for free on Fox.com and the Fox NOW app.
“Our highest duty as a company is to provide the individuals and communities we serve with information and analysis to help educate and protect them during dangerous times,” Fox Corp. executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. “That is why we are today making Fox News and Fox Television stations available to everyone in the country. In this same spirit of providing the public with important resources, last week we launched CoronavirusNOW.com, a free-to-use website featuring breaking news, live stream updates, and exclusive interviews with health officials. We are also proud to be partnering with the Ad Council and National Association of Broadcasters to air public service announcements about coronavirus across our platforms.”
This is a significant move by Fox Corp. Fox News Channel is a billion-dollar business, and the most-watched network on cable television. Not only is Fox News consistently at the top of the cable ratings rankings, but it has also assumed the role as No. 1 basic cable network in average total audience during 2020 election night coverage.
Other media publishers have also recently taken down their paywalls for coronavirus coverage.