Are Australians being censored from seeing new BBC documentary on Murdoch empire?

Will Australians get to see a new highly praised BBC documentary series The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty?

This is the question being asked after an Australian division of the BBC confirmed it had made the decision not to screen the program on the Murdoch owned pay-tv platform Foxtel.

The dramatic new three-part series tells the incredible story of Rupert Murdoch’s Empire, interweaving his behind-the-scenes influence on world events with the personal battle for power at the heart of his own family.

The documentary series premiered in the UK on July 14, securing strong ratings and has received significant acclaim from critics. The program has been described as the real-life version of HBO drama Succession.

Speaking to TV Blackbox, a spokesperson for BBC Studios denied suggestions the program had been blocked due to concerns of upsetting Foxtel, but confirmed they had opted not to acquire Australian rights to the documentary due to the belief the content would not be fitting;

“with our channel brands and the kind of shows we have on them.”

BBC Studios is a commercial division of the BBC, and has a long term contract to supply content for pay-tv channels in Australia on the Foxtel and Fetch TV platforms. These include,

  • BBC First – premium drama
  • UKTV – entertainment
  • BBC Earth – natural history, science and adventure travel
  • CBeebies – pre-school

The spokesperson went on to indicate the documentary would be available for distribution in Australia by BBC Studios, meaning that all other Australian broadcasters would now have the opportunity to purchase the content.

TV Blackbox is not aware of any Australian broadcasters currently interested in obtaining the series at this stage.

The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty explores how power really works. Playing out on a canvas of exclusive parties, glamorous yachts, private jets, weddings, tabloid newsrooms, and private dinner meetings, this series presents a unique portrait of 21st century Britain through one of the world’s most influential figures, during his most turbulent times.

The series features a cast that includes Hugh Grant, Steve Bannon, Max Mosley, Piers Morgan, Nigel Farage, Alastair Campbell, Alan Sugar, Tom Watson, two deputy prime ministers, senior ex-employees and a convicted phone hacker.

The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty uses rarely seen archive material to shed light on Murdoch’s private world, forensically deconstructing some of the most iconic and infamous moments of modern history from a perspective that’s rarely seen: the top table of power.

Additional Sources – SMH and BBC

Correction: A previous version of this article referred to BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios as seperate entities. This is not the case.

Kevin Perry
Co-Creator and Editor of the TV Blackbox website, Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting. | Call/Text 0428 275 111

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  1. the abc is now effectively run by murdoch and ch 9 is run be a former LNP tresurer, wouldn’t hold my breath on either of these airing this

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