GB News sinks to zero viewers after boycott over taking the knee
Is this is it for the infant network?
The highly controversial GB News attracted zero viewers during some of its broadcasting this week. According to the Broadcaster's Audience Research Board (BARB), the show's ratings literally hit rock bottom following Guto Harri's decision in taking the knee while on air.
GB News has been self-styled on the idea of free speech and debate, but after Harri's decision to take the knee, freedom-loving viewers boycotted the channel.
GB News is - above all - about free speech; having the debates others won’t. English footballers have made it clear that when they take the knee they are making a clear statement about rejecting racism (not endorsing the narrow divisive aims of BLM). I support them https://t.co/Ny9H9HyRAj
— Guto Harri (@Guto_Harri) July 13, 2021
Harri, who formerly spent eighteen years at the BBC before joining the right-wing news network, took the knee while on air in solidarity with the English football team. After their defeat at the hands of Italy last week, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka were racially harassed online.
GB News has since tweeted that Harri's decision was "an unacceptable breach of our standards" but have not yet confirmed whether the presenter is still with the channel.
BARB reports that Liam Halligan and former Labour MP Gloria De Piero had no gaugeable audience during their show. At the same time, the BBC News channel attracted 62,000 viewers, while Sky News had 50,000 people watching.
We let both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue. 3/3
— GB News (@GBNEWS) July 15, 2021
Fellow presenter Neil Oliver had the following to say:
My @GBNEWS teammate @Guto_Harri is right to say and do as he sees fit. I do the same. That’s the ethos of the channel. Free speech. We don’t all agree with each other - that’s the point, or else where’s the debate?
— Neil Oliver (@thecoastguy) July 13, 2021
"My GB News teammate Guto Harri is right to say and do as he sees fit. I do the same. That's the ethos of the channel. Free speech. We don't all agree with each other - that's the point, or else where's the debate?"