09:19 GMT +322 November 2019
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    A photo taken on February 6, 2014 shows a man walking past the Euronews building in Lyon's new Confluence district

    Lights Out, Cameras Off: Authorities Boot Euronews out of Ukraine

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    Ukraine's National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting has deprived French television news service Euronews of its broadcast license, Ukrainian news site Vesti reports.

    The Media Gamble
    © Sputnik / Vitaly Podvitski
    The Council justified the decision by noting that the project was not financially viable, adding that they found it problematic that authorities could not influence the content of the Lyon-based company's Ukrainian edition.

    The decision, based on a proposal made by the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday, was confirmed by the Council Thursday. Council chairman Yuri Artemenko stated that "at the request of the National Television Company of Ukraine, we have revoked the broadcasting license of Euronews –namely its Ukrainian edition."

    Artemenko noted that "the former criminal authorities, on onerous terms, entered into a contract with Euronews."  The chairman stated that "the conditions that were spelled out were very opaque, very poor. The people responsible for creating this information product are based in the city of Lyon, France; they create their product as they wish, guided by their values."

    Artemenko added that the 30 minute Euronews Ukraine program costs 5 million Euros a year to rebroadcast, with Ukraine owing 11 million euros to the news firm at a time "when the government has allocated the equivalent of [only] 600,000 euros to the National Television Company's budget."

    The Ukrainian edition of Euronews began its broadcast in 2011. Until August, 2014, the Russian version of the channel was also broadcast in Ukraine, before the Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting made a decision to close it.

    Having issued edicts on the removal of a slew of Russian content from Ukraine's airwaves, the Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting has since been accused of pressuring even loyalist Ukrainian channels. Last month, the Council warned Channel 112 Ukraina that it would sanction the station if it broadcast Shuster Live, a pro-regime program, for featuring Russian journalist Maxim Shevchenko as one of its guests. The channel canceled the broadcast, and complained of pressure from the Council on its website.


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