Besieged Russian independent news and factual channel Dozhd’s management say it will not close despite losing 85% of its distribution following with withdrawal of carriage by all the country’s main distribution platforms.
Russia’s largest pay TV operator, Tricolor TV, was the latest platform to terminate its carriage deal with Dozhd, which was subject to a storm of criticism after airing a poll that asked whether lives could have been saved had the city of Leningrad – now St Petersburg – surrendered to Axis forces during World War II rather than endure its three-year siege.
Dozhd staff, led by general director Natalia Sindeyeva and backer Alexander Vinokurov have said that the campaign against the channel is politically motivated.
Dozhd is seen as one of the few independent media voices in the country, regularly airing the views of opposition figures and covering anti-government protests that are largely ignored by government-controlled or influenced channels.
In an attempt to reverse its potentially catastrophic loss of distribution, the channel’s management said Dozhd would be offered free of charge to operators. Dozhd has relied on a mix of advertising and carriage fees from cable and IPTV operators for its revenue, although it reportedly paid Tricolor TV to be carried on its service, Russia’s largest pay TV platform.
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