As reported by The Verge, a Sky News livestream of the first GOP presidential debate was shut down by a Fox News copyright claim. The debate, which was hosted by the Fox News channel, took place on August 6 at 8 p.m. EST.
Sky News — a U.K.-based news station — was streaming the highly-anticipated debate live via its YouTube channel to those without a TV provider or people outside the United States. The livestream was replaced with a an error message stating that the video was no longer available.
“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Fox News Network, LLC.”
Fox News and Sky News are both owned by the same parent company, News Corp. It’s unclear why Fox would make a copyright claim against its sister network. One plausible explanation, as pointed out by Ars Technica, is that Fox didn’t file the claim against Sky News at all. It’s possible that YouTube’s automatic system stopped the livestream.
The debate was meant to only be accessible to people with a TV provider. The fact that their debate was being streamed to everyone for free may have bothered Fox. As Ars mentioned, neither news stations had made a public announcement on the matter.
Thankfully for those watching the debate through the free livestream, the livestream wasn’t stopped until later in the debate, reportedly near the end.
Everyone expected this election cycle’s first presidential debate to attract attention, but it’s the amount of attention the debate got that’s astonishing many. The first GOP debate of 2011 was viewed by 3.2 million people, this year’s debate had a record-setting 24 million viewers.
Much of the extra attention to this year’s debate can be attributed to Donald Trump. His candidacy has attracted an incredible amount of media coverage, mostly due to his sometimes inflammatory comments.
Fox’s web stream of the debate sputtered last night — network cites “unprecedented, overwhelming demand” http://t.co/k7eSd3V7il
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 7, 2015
Since there were so many unexpected viewers, Fox News’ servers had trouble streaming the event to some people. The network was experiencing some technical issues that made viewing impossible to stream the debate on Fox’s website.
The only other option for watching the debate was cable. After discovering the inoperable debate streaming, Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts headed to his local bar to watch the debate. Other cord-cutters likely did the same as Roberts during the spectacle of a presidential debate.
[Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images]