The leading Russian pay-TV operator Tricolor TV is being investigated by the regulator Roskomnadzor for allegedly not offering must-carry channels for free.

According to AKTR and Rambler, Roskomnadzor has begun an unscheduled inspection that will last for 20 days following numerous complaints from subscribers.

Although Tricolor TV claims that the channels are being offered for free to subscribers, they are placed in pay packages.

In its view, viewers who do not pay for its services are not classified as subscribers.

Tricolor TV faces the prospect of being fined but is unlikely to have its licence withdrawn.

There are currently 10 must-carry national TV channels in Russia, all of which have been approved by presidential decree.

They include Channel One, RTR and NTV.

Tricolor TV currently has around 11 million subscribers, close to half of which (5 million) watch HD services.