Foreign channels face Russian blackout

By Chris Dziadul
October 6, 2009 09.56 UK

Foreign channels are facing the real prospect of losing distribution on cable networks in Russia.

Kommersant reports that the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, IT and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) have met with representatives of at least one international broadcaster to discuss how they could align their activities with Russian legislation.

It was first announced last May that Roskomnadzor plans to bring some order into a market in which foreign channels, with apparently the exception of the BBC and euronews, apparently operate without a Russian licence.

Roskomnadzorís actions have received support from the Russian cable association AKTR, which believes that the legalisation of foreign channels will ultimately be resolved by amendments to the media and communications legislation.

These might possibly be discussed by the State Duma before the end of this year.