Russian independent factual channel Dozhd has begun broadcasting on SES’s Astra 4A satellite at 5° East, complementing its coverage via the Yamal 300K satellite at 90° East.
Dozhd said it would make its signal available free-to-air for the first one or two months of broadcasting. Carriage on Astra 4A gives the channel coverage over gthe European part of Russia, and means that subscribers to Russian pay TV services Tricolor TV and NTV+ will be able to view the satellite with minimum reconfiguration of their reception equipment.
The satellite launch follows the removal of Dozhd from most Russian pay TV services at the start of this year after it briefly aired the results of a poll, seen as controversial, about the wartime siege of Leningrad, now St Petersburg, on its website. The channel, seen as one of the few remaining independent media outlets in Russia, has been struggling to stay on air since.