CNN to Halt Broadcasting in Russia

Russia | November 11, 2014, Tuesday // 13:19|  views

CNN International will stop broadcasting on cable networks in Russia at the end of the year following legislative changes further limiting foreign ownership in Russian media outlets.

CNN parent Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) said in a statement on Monday that Turner International is bringing its existing distribution relationships to an end “while assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes in Russian media legislation”.

 At the end of September the Russian Duma passed legislative amendments signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on October 15 that bans foreign ownership of Russian media in excess of 20% starting from 2017. Since 2010, foreign ownership of up to 50% has been allowed.

On Monday, TBS Europe informed Russian cable operators Akado Telecom and VimpelCom that starting from December 31 they won’t be able to broadcast CNN in Russia.

CNN and TBS are owned by the US media giant Time Warner, which is also in control of HBO and Warner Bros.

Russian news agency ITAR-TASS quoted a TBS official as saying the company is seeking new broadcasting opportunies that will be compatible with the amended legislation. While TBS will conclude its existing contracts, it will not close down the CNN office in Moscow in the hope of re-entering the Russian market.

CNN began broadcasting in Russia in 1993. It has been distributed mostly through cable and satellite networks, and on pay-per-view operators.

Norwegian investment group Skagen has sold its stake in Russia’s CTC Media group due to the adopted change in media legislation, ITAR-TASS reported on Tuesday.

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Tags: CNN, Russia, media laws, foreign ownership, Turner, legislative amendments


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