Netflix blocks Russian state-based TV channels

Netflix has responded by blocking the Russian state-based TV channels on its platform


Amidst the Russia’s invasion over Ukraine crisis, streaming giant Netflix has made an important announcement. The company has said that it will no longer be airing any Russian channels in Russia. Airing Russian-state channels is a part of the Russian laws and the recent announcement has indicated that it is going against the Russian laws. The Russian state channels are mainly propaganda driven and as per the laws, the OTT Platform has to carry a number of state-run broadcasters in the country.

A spokesperson from Netflix confirmed the news and said that considering the current situation, they do not have any intensions to add these channels to their service and has decided to suspend the Russian channels for a week. The decision was taken after a military assault carried out by Russian military on Ukraine which killed hundreds of civilians. However, the spokesperson of the OTT platform refused to reveal if they had informed the authorities in Russia about the decision not to air the state-run channels. The OTT platform is considerably new in Russia and does not have any offices in the country.

The Russian law has mentioned that the OTT platform will have to carry 20 Russian broadcast channels that includes the state-run Channel One. Some of the recent reports from a leading daily has mentioned that the new law has not yet gone in to effect completely. Other than Netflix, the streaming companies that have more than 100,000 subscribers will have to distribute 20 free-to-air sports, news and entertainment channels. The Russian channels like NT V, Channel One and Spa were associated with the Russian Orthodox Church and are a part of the 20 channels that Netflix was expected to air.

Not just Netflix, but even the social networking giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have blocked the state-owned outlets from broadcasting misleading news about the Russian invasion on Ukraine. Meanwhile, Facebook has also established a Special Operations Centre that will respond in real time.

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