Russia forces platform to broadcast state channels

Russia has just added Netflix to its list “audiovisual services ”. In this capacity, the streaming platform will have to fulfill certain obligations if it wishes to maintain its activities on Russian soil. In particular, it will have to broadcast live the programs of at least twenty state television channels. This measure will come into force from March 2022.

For several years now, streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or even Disney + have had obligations to maintain their activities in such and such a territory. In France for example, these companies must pay each year between 50 and 80 million euros in subsidies to help the development of French cinema.

In Russia, the measures applied against streaming platforms are quite different. In fact, the Roskomnadzor, the national Internet and telecommunications monitoring authority, has just included Netflix on the list “audiovisual services ”, a category that includes all streaming services that have more than 100,000 Russian visitors daily.

Netflix soon to be hijacked by Russia?

In this capacity, Netflix will have to submit to certain constraints. If the American company intends to continue its activities on Russian territory, it must first broadcast live programs from around 20 state television channels. These include the non-stop news channel NTV, the main generalist channel Channel One and the Spas channel of the Orthodox Church. All these channels are regularly singled out by the opposition to Russian power and are seen as vectors of pro-government propaganda.

In addition, Netflix will have to make a commitment to respect provisions prohibiting the promotion of “extremism ”. Otherwise, the regulatory authority may be required to take sanctions against the platform. Russia says these measures will enter into force from March 2022. It remains to be seen whether Netflix intends to comply with the demands of Russian power or if it prefers to withdraw from the territory.

As you may know, Russia has embarked on a policy of general mistrust against the Western web and high-tech giants. In May 2021, the authorities forced Google to remove prohibited content, relating in particular to the opposition or to the country’s management of the health crisis. Moreover, the Mountain View firm had been fined 160,000 € for not having deleted this content on YouTube. In September 2021, many VPNs like NordVPN or ExpressVPN have drawn the wrath of Roskomnadzor.

Source: WinFuture

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