Russia’s State Duma has accepted the first reading of a draft law that would cut the permitted level of foreign ownership in media to 20%.

As previously reported in Broadband TV News, the law, if enacted, would come into force in 2016, with all media owners required to comply by February 2017.

Although the current limit on foreign ownership is 50%, print media are exempt.

Quoted by Bloomberg, Yuliana Slashcheva, the CEO of the national commercial broadcaster CTC Media, which is backed by Modern Times Group (MTG), said that, “the law, if passed with the current wording, will create legal complications for us and our shareholders”.

She added that the Russian television market is already suffering from sanctions as some global advertisers pulled spending for September and the fourth quarter because of restrictions on food imports and weakening consumer confidence in the country.