Operators distributing TV channels in Russia may find themselves being charged significantly more from the beginning of next year, when new legislation banning advertising on most thematic channels comes into effect.

Kommersant reports that Viasat, whose revenues in Russia exceed R500 million (10.2 million) each year, has already warned about increasing its fees by almost a half.

Its thematic channels are among popular in Russia, being watched each month by around 20 million viewers.

Recently, the Moscow-based cable operator Akado withdrew four Europort channels from its offer, apparently due to the high fees it was being charged for them.