Netflix to stream 20 state TV channels in Russia

From March, Netflix must stream 20 state television channels in Russia. Roskomnadzor, the country’s media watchdog, registered the platform this week as an “audiovisual service”. Among the channels Netflix will have to carry are its flagship Channel One, entertainment network NTV, and a Russian Orthodox Church channel called Spas (meaning “Saved”).

Streaming services with more than 100,000 daily users in Russia are included in the registry, which was established late last year. Not only do registered platforms have to offer state television channels, they also have to set up a Russian company, according to The Moscow Times.

Companies in the registry must also abide by Russian laws. For starters, Netflix isn’t allowed to promote “extremism.” Critics argue that provisions have been made against those who support the Kremlin’s opponents.

Other video services in the country reportedly argued that Netflix should be added to the registry to level the playing field as it meets the requirements. The Russian version of Netflix is ‚Äč‚Äčoperated by Entertainment Online Service, a subsidiary of National Media Group, which has a stake in Channel One.

Engadget has reached out to Netflix for comment.

In November, it emerged that Russia was investigating a complaint about LGBTQIA+ content on Netflix. The company told Engadget that such content was properly reviewed. That same month, Russia ordered several tech giants (including Apple, Google, Meta, TikTok and Twitter) to establish offices within its borders by the end of this year.

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