DirecTV To Drop Russian Network RT America – CNET

DirecTV To Drop Russian Network RT America – CNET

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DirectTV will stop carrying RT America’s programming, following Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. 

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DirecTV will no longer carry RT America’s programming following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the company announced Tuesday. RT is one of Russia’s state-controlled international television networks.

“In line with our previous agreement with RT America, we are accelerating this year’s contract expiration timeline and will no longer offer their programming effective immediately,” DirecTV said in a statement. The decision was first reported by Axios. Following a review of the programmers in its lineup and after assessing the value of RT America for DirectTV’s customers, the satellite TV company had previously determined to terminate RT America’s contract, a company spokesperson said. However, “we felt it necessary to move the timeline up from mid-year following the devastating recent events in Ukraine,” the spokesperson said.

DirectTV’s move comes hours after Facebook, YouTube and other social networks announced plans to limit access to Russian state-controlled media outlets RT and Sputnik across Europe. On Tuesday, too, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) issued a statement opposing the broadcasting of Russian-sponsored programming. “Given the unprovoked aggression exhibited by Russia against the free and sovereign people of Ukraine, NAB calls on broadcasters to cease carrying any state-sponsored programming with ties to the Russian government or its agents,” the NAB said in a statement.

Following NAB’s call, other TV providers might follow suit. We reached out to Dish for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

As Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine escalates, the private sector has stepped up. US companies have become active players in the conflict as they provide aid to Ukrainians and place restrictions on Russian state media. Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX activated satellite internet service in Ukraine through its Starlink system and Google disabled a feature that displays Ukraine traffic conditions in its widely used Maps app, among other actions. 

RT and NAB didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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