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Cable Providers Begin Dropping Russia's Only Independent TV Station

It's not just threats facing Russia's only independent TV station. Providers are not dropping the channel outright. Images mixed by Kevin Rothrock.

It's no longer just threats facing Russia's only independent TV station. Providers are now dropping the channel outright. Images mixed by Kevin Rothrock.

The prospect that Russian cable television providers might drop TV Rain, Russia’s only independent channel, became a reality today, when two major cable companies reported decisions to stop providing customers with access to the station.

In a tweet today, January 29, 2014, the telecom Akado (where the Board Director is Yuri Pripachkin—the man who launched yesterday’s crackdown on TV Rain) announced [ru] on Twitter that it is suspending TV Rain’s broadcasting license on its cable network, effective tomorrow. Another cable television provider, Dom.ru, has already cut off access to TV Rain on its network, citing [ru] the absence of a broadcasting agreement with the station. According to the cable provider, it is illegal in Russia to broadcast a channel without such an agreement. Curiously, Dom.ru’s press release says nothing about why it only now realized that it lacks a contract with TV Rain.

A third cable television provider, Tricolor TV, told [ru] Echo of Moscow’s St. Petersburg branch that will continue to carry TV Rain, but warned that it would drop the station, if it ever repeated the scandal (covered at length in a previous GV post) that sparked its current troubles.

According to reports and the telecoms’ own websites [ru], Akado and Dom.ru have somewhere between seven and nine million customers in Russia, serving upwards of 56 cities throughout the country.

Akado’s decision to announce on Twitter that it is suspending TV Rain coverage exposed the cable provider to a wave of anger from the station’s supporters.

Here are a few choice responses to Akado’s tweet:

Dishonor.

Akado, this is shameful! Give viewers the chance to decide for themselves what to watch!

Akado, you electrically operated scumbags.

C**ksuckers.

What’s it like to write a tweet with a d**k in your mouth?

It’s good when the opportunity arises for some resistance. I’m switching away from Akado for its refusal to broadcast TV Rain, and I advise you to do the same.

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