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A Fox-Free Zone

Reported by Judy - August 15, 2004 -

I may have missed this on the O'Reilly Factor. What with Bill up in arms about Canada not allowing Fox News into that country, I'm sure he must be steamed that Fox News will no longer be seen in Japan. The problem in Japan, though, is not government regulation, but the good ole' free market. It seems nobody wants to watch Fox News in Japan.

William Penn wrote in The Daily Yomiuri on July 1 that "The Fox News Channel will bite the dust in Japan on midnight July 31, 2004." (The full article, "Fox News soon to be history," is available through Lexis-Nexis).

Penn said that "the network's brand of 'fair and balanced' coverage and loud, argumentative hosts have not caught on in the archipelago." The network had only 4,000 cable subscribers in Japan, a country of 127 million people. A Fox News vice president said the network in Japan has "been steadily losing money and can no longer justify the costs." Attracting more advertising is not an option, the vice president said, because "with an audience of 4,000 it is impossible to sell advertising. No company will buy air time."

Penn said that one option for Fox might be to have more of its shows translated into Japanese so that the channel could be included in cable packages, but Fox says it was never offered a place in a package and that translation costs would be high.

They probably couldn't figure out how to translate "Shut Up!" into Japanese.