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Netflix rebuffs Russian government’s order to stream state-run channels on its platform

Even though Netflix in Russia is not even a year old, the streaming giant now reportedly faces an uncertain future there.

Netflix will not be complying with the Russian government’s order to broadcast state-run channels on its platform, according to a report in Vulture. The video streaming platform was required to stream 20 Russian federal television stations from March 1 after it was added to a register of "audiovisual services" regulated by the country’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor last year, Politico Europe reported. “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a Netflix spokesperson was quoted as saying. The requirement was reportedly part of a set of obligations that the Russian government came up with for audiovisual services to air state propaganda. The move can be viewed as part of the misinformation campaign orchestrated by Russia to justify its reasons to wage war on Ukraine in light of economic sanctions. Netflix’s decision to not comply may compel the Russian government to punish the company with fines. It remains to be seen how Netflix navigates this situation which may end up having implications in other parts of the world, in the context of leveraging streaming platforms to further state propaganda. How long has Netflix been in Russia? Netflix launched its local edition for Russia only in the last year. There is no clarity on what will happen to its customer base, Vulture explained. Some of the channels that Netflix would have been forced to broadcast include Channel One, NTV, and Spas— a channel run by the Russian Orthodox Church, Politico Europe added. Netflix Russia has an estimated subscriber base…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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