Netflix isn’t caving to Russian pressure to carry state-owned TV channels. The streaming service confirmed that it wouldn’t carry the 20 free state channels required under Russian law, which includes Channel One, NTV and Spa. The company has “no plans” to offer the programming given the “current situation,” according to a spokesperson. So it’s not about to support Russian state media while the country invades Ukraine.
The law, in the country, is called the Vitrina TV law. It requires audiovisual services with more than 100,000 subscribers to carry the channels. National regulator Roskomnadzor labeled Netflix as one of those services back in December. The measure has yet to be enforced though, still there have been concerns that Netflix would soon have to comply.
Netflix only localized its service about a year ago, and it doesn’t have employees in the country. It only started work on its first Russian original (which is an adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina) in May of 2021, and a source for The Wall Street Journal says that Netflix has less than 1 million Russian subscribers.
There is a growing technology industry backlash against Russian state media. Companies like Meta, Microsoft and Google have restricted Russian outlets like RT and Sputnik due to a European Union ban and general policies against disinformation.
Image Credit Netflix