Brussels’ Ban on RT TV Hits Broadcasts in UK and South Africa

RT DE - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2022
EU member nations have banned the Russian international news channel from broadcasting within the bloc — which supported the 2014 coup in Kiev — over its coverage of the war in Ukraine from the Russian perspective.
The European Union (EU) ban on Russia’s RT TV has also taken the news channel off-air thousands of miles away. Viewers in the UK — which left the bloc in 2020 — and South Africa, some 5,000 miles to the south, also found themselves unable to watch RT when broadcasting was halted early on Wednesday evening.
Those trying to tune in for an alternative to Western mainstream media reporting were met with a black screen and the message “this service is currently not available”. Subscription TV provider Sky said on Tuesday that it would drop the channel as it receives its broadcasts from a satellite operator based in Luxembourg, which complied with the Brussels ban.
British free-to-air broadcasters Freesat and Freeview said they did not know how that decision would affect reception in the UK, but it became apparent the next day. Scottish broadcaster and veteran MP George Galloway, who presents a current affairs talk show on Sputnik and RT, was one of the first to notice the service had disappeared.
The sudden development pre-empted the result of an ongoing review of RT’s license to broadcast by UK television regulator OFCOM.
South Africa’s leading entertainment firm MultiChoice said it would no longer carry RT on its DStv subscription service.
"Sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union (EU) has led to the global distributor of the channel ceasing to provide the broadcast feed to all suppliers, including MultiChoice,” the company said in a statement.
South African telecom giant Telkom also dropped RT from its TelkomONE streaming platform. RT has already been taken off the air in other parts of the English-speaking world as part of collective punishment of Russians and their business.
Australian satellite firm Foxtel removed the channel on Sunday, saying: "In view of concern about the situation in Ukraine, the Russia Today channel is currently unavailable on Foxtel and Flash."
US platform DirectTV as well as Canada’s Rogers Communications and Bell Canada announced on Monday that they had also banned RT.
RT is part of a group of companies headed by RIA Novosti, the Russian equivalent of the British Press Association, Agence France Presse and the US Associated Press. Some European national TV and radio networks also broadcast internationally. RT is currently providing its regular programming through its website,
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