Cable, Satellite Companies Pull Russian TV Station Over WWII Poll
Published: January 30, 2014 (Issue # 1795)
Several major Russian cable and satellite TV companies said Wednesday they would stop broadcasting liberal-leaning Dozhd channel in response to it running an online poll that officials say dishonored World War II veterans.
The row is likely to reignite concerns over media freedoms in Russia as the country readies for the international exposure of the Winter Olympics, which are set to get under way in the city of Sochi next month.
Dozhd initially drew outrage by running a survey on its website Monday asking viewers if Leningrad – now renamed St. Petersburg – should have been surrendered to the invading Nazi army in order to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Related: Revisionism Under Fire After Controversial Poll
The station quickly withdrew the poll, but is now facing calls from lawmakers in the St. Petersburg legislature for prosecutors to take action against the broadcaster. A number of satellite and cable providers have preempted potential action by the authorities and pulled Dozhd from the packages they offer subscribers.
“Three satellite TV providers – Akado, NTV Plus and Dom.ru – refused [to transmit Dozhd], not four, as was previously announced,” the website of state news channel Rossiya-24 reported.
Rostelecom, the largest universal telecommunications companies in Russia, later said it too had cut off Dozhd broadcasts to its cable subscribers.
Related: Putin Pays Tribute to Siege of Leningrad Victims
Media had previously reported that Tricolor TV, Russia’s biggest satellite television provider with over 14 million subscribers, also decided to exclude Dozhd from its satellite package. The company released an official statement condemn the station’s poll, but denied it planned to stop transmitting Dozhd.
Pages:  [2 ]