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Cable, Satellite Companies Pull Russian TV Station Over WWII Poll

Published: January 30, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • Dozhd's poll instantly drew outrage with officials saying its topic dishonored World War II veterans.
    Photo: music.ucla.edu

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.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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