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Netflix and Other Streaming Companies Forced to Carry State Channels in Russia

Vladamir Putin
(Image credit: Roskomnadzor)

Netflix and other larger streaming service providers operating in Russia will soon be required to carry 20 state-run channels.

According to the Moscow Times, starting in March 2022, foreign streaming companies serving more than 100,000 customers will be required to stream broadcasts from state-owned channels including Channel One, NTV and the Russian Orthodox Church's in-house network, Spas (which translates to "Saved). 

In late 2020, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, created a register of larger foreign service providers and began requiring them not only to carry state-run channels, but also conform to laws restricting movies and shows that depict such elements as "extremism" and even LGBTQIA+ content.

In November, Reuters reported that Russian officials were investigating Netflix for alleged violations of laws restricting "propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations" among under 18. Russia's public commissioner for protecting families claimed that some Netflix content with LGBTQIA+ themes was improperly rated suitable for those aged 16 and older. Netflix, which faces fines, has insisted that the content is properly rated. 

Also in November, Roskomnadzor began requiring Google, Apple and Facebook to open local offices in Russia to avoid being banned in the country.