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News channel RT removed from DSTV as sanctions on Russia tighten

File picture: Twitter @RT_com

File picture: Twitter @RT_com

Published Mar 2, 2022


Pretoria - MultiChoice froze Russian news channel RT (Russia Today) on its broadcasting platform on Wednesday.

The move comes after the European Union banned Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik from broadcasting in the bloc.

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“Sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union has led to the global distributor of the channel ceasing to provide the broadcast feed to all suppliers, including MultiChoice,” said a MultiChoice spokesperson.

Netflix Inc has also temporarily stopped all future projects and acquisitions in Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, Variety reported on Wednesday.

Russia has been facing boycott in the film and TV industry. The Cannes film festival issued a statement on Tuesday saying it would ban official Russian delegations from its 2022 festival unless the Ukraine conflict ends.

On Monday, Microsoft Corp said it was removing Russian state-owned media outlet RT’s mobile apps from the Windows App store.

It has also stopped adverts on Russian state-sponsored media.

Earlier on Wednesday Google followed Apple’s lead and removed the apps of RT and Sputnik from its mobile app store.

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Britain's media regulator Ofcom is considering whether news broadcaster RT should retain its licence in the country, after it stepped up investigations into the Russian-backed television channel.

Ofcom said on Monday it had launched 15 investigations into the impartiality of RT's output and on Wednesday said it had opened a further 12 investigations into RT's programming.

"We are very concerned by the volume of programmes on RT that are raising potential issues under the Broadcasting Code, and as we progress our investigations we are considering whether RT should retain a UK licence," the regulator said.

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RT and news outlet Sputnik have faced wide-spread sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine, with the European Union banning the groups for what it called systematic disinformation over the crisis while Western tech platforms have restricted access to the two.

Britain's government has said an outright ban could lead to reciprocal action by Moscow against the BBC and other British media organisations.

Ofcom instead has increased its analysis of RT's output to monitor whether it is impartial and includes a significant range of voices.

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RT had previously told Reuters that the Ofcom investigation was unsurprising giving the "immense political pressure" being placed on what it called a supposedly independent regulator.