ROUNDUP: Broadcasting of the German-language RT program restricted
Lettering “News” (symbolic image). pixabay.com
BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – The Russian state medium RT has suffered another setback when broadcasting its new German-language TV program. The media authority Berlin-Brandenburg announced on Wednesday at the request of the German press agency that the satellite operator Eutelsat had stopped the satellite broadcasting on the same day.
According to the media authority, the European commissioner of the state media authorities, Tobias Schmid, the media regulators in Berlin and European supervisory authorities had agreed in advance – and Schmid had informed Eutelsat of the facts. Russia threatened countermeasures.
The background to the decision is that German regulators have not issued a broadcasting license for the broadcast. RT relies on a Serbian broadcast license. An earlier attempt by the broadcaster to get a license via Luxembourg had failed.
On its own website, RT DE also reported on the discontinuation of distribution via the Eutelsat 9B platform. “We are of the opinion that this course of action constitutes unlawful exertion of pressure and we are confident that the competent courts will take action against this action.” All possible legal remedies will be exhausted.
Last week, RT started its German-language live program via various distribution channels. After a few hours, YouTube blocked the channel on its platform and relied on community guidelines. The media regulators in Berlin initiated proceedings against RT the day after.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, RT DE has been registered in Serbia under the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. “Germany is a signatory to the agreement and must adhere to it,” he told RT on Wednesday.
The German authorities did everything to create “a negative image” of the station in society. “Such discrimination against the Russian media has been observed for many years,” said Lavrov, threatening countermeasures: “If this situation continues, we must respond.” He didn’t give any details.
The Russian ambassador in Berlin, Sergei Netschajew, criticized RT DE for being put under pressure in Germany. Attempts to “get rid of a strong competitor in the media landscape” would run counter to freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
RT is repeatedly criticized in the West as the Kremlin’s propaganda tool. Central allegation: The station spreads conspiracy theories and disinformation on behalf of the Russian state. RT rejects that. The broadcaster has several foreign language programs in its portfolio. RT DE has been offering online reports in German for a long time. The content is disseminated via the website and social media.
RT – formerly Russia Today – wants to expand its offer in Germany and has been working on a German-language TV program for a long time. RT DE has a location in Berlin.
TV providers require a broadcasting license for nationwide programs in Germany. The route of distribution does not matter. The media regulators are of the opinion that RT DE Productions GmbH, based in Berlin, is responsible for the program under media law. One of the admission requirements is that the constitutional principle of broadcasting remote from the state must not be violated, i.e. a state or party must not have any influence on the program content. / Rin / cht / rbo / DP / nas
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