Netflix will have to stream 20 state channels in Russia – Legislation – Tecnoblog

Netflix is ​​in the crosshairs of the Russian government. The country’s communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, included the streaming platform as an “audiovisual service” this week, implying that the company must include content from 20 Russian state-owned television channels in its catalogue, including Russian television. Channel One, one of the main television channels aligned with the Kremlin.


Netflix is ​​forced by the Russian government to broadcast content from channels aligned with the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church (Image: freestocks/Unsplash)

Streaming services with a daily access base of over 100,000 users in Russia, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, were included by Roskomnadzor as “audiovisual services. Filed in 2021, the registration mandates the transmission of 20 state channels, and platforms must not only broadcast state TV content, but also establish a branch in Russia.

Netflix must comply with Russian law and avoid broadcasting what the government calls “extremism.” Critics of the watchdog measure say it was designed to silence Kremlin opponents.

The channels that should be broadcast on Netflix include the Channel One, one of the main propaganda channels of the Russian government, the NTV, specializing in entertainment, and the Spas, official network of the Orthodox Church. In November, Russian authorities investigated alleged complaints against LGBTQ+ content, which sparked a wake-up call for the Putin government’s actions against technology companies. Also last year, the Russian government ordered Google, Twitter and Facebook to open offices in Russia, under penalty of suspension of their platforms.

But other video-on-demand services popular in Russia argue that Netflix must follow this Russian government guideline to catch up with more companies in the field. In Russia, who owns the rights to operate the streaming platform is Entertainment Online Service, a subsidiary of the National Media Group, which, in turn, owns part of the Channel One.

Bill wants to regulate Netflix’s operations in Brazil

The discussion to make global streaming platforms be forced to promote content from local countries is not new. At least not in Brazil.

In 2019, a bill authored by Senator Humberto Costa (PT-PE) proposed that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services allocate at least 4% of their gross sales to Condecine (Contribution for the Development of the National Film Industry ).

Another requirement imposed by the bill is investment in national content. Annually, Netflix and Amazon would have to promote or acquire the rights to Brazilian audiovisual productions. The rate of contributions to Brazilian culture would follow the amount paid to Condecine, reaching 4% of gross sales.

In 2019, the proposal was debated in the Senate, at a public hearing. At the time, Netflix’s Director of Government Relations and Public Policies, Paula Pinha, spoke out against the project, which is still being discussed, but has been stopped since April 2021.

Outside Russian territory, Netflix generally does not broadcast content from state television channels, or buys the broadcast rights to a government-produced play. But if the platform does not comply with the new government policy, it could be expelled from Russia.

The country has recently tightened enforcement around big technology companies. Another measure taken by the government requires that any cell phone sold in its territory come with Russian apps pre-installed, to help software engineers take advantage of iOS and Android.

With information: Engadget, Android Central

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