Russia - Siberians can no longer watch TV-2 on their TV sets

The Siberian independent television station TV-2 ceased broadcasting by cable on the night of 8 February as a result of being stripped of its licence despite all its efforts to defend its rights and the right of the region’s inhabitants to be informed.

The Tomsk-based broadcaster’s legal appeals and protests by thousands of demonstrators had no effect. After operating for 25 years, TV-2 finally disappeared from cable TV screens just over five weeks after being forced to end over-the-air broadcasting on 1 January. It continues for the time being to broadcast online.

TV-2’s broadcasting licence was initially extended last year until 2025 but Roskomnadzor, the federal communications agency, later reversed this decision, attributing it to a “technical error”.

RTRS, a state telecommunications network with an over-the-air transmission monopoly, rescinded TV-2’s contract last November on the grounds that it had supposedly contravened an agreement.

Encouraged by the big demonstrations in its support, TV-2 filed legal appeals against these decisions by Roskomnadzor and RTRS, and hearings have begun in Moscow and Tomsk. But even if it wins, it will not be able to recover its over-the-air frequency, which has already been given to a state broadcaster.

Despite having had to lay off around 100 employees, TV-2 is not giving up and plans to reorganize and step up its online broadcasting. It has launched an appeal for donations by its viewers and has received support from the Sreda Foundation. It will need all the help it can get

Previous release: Independent Siberian TV station’s forced closure imminent (31.12.2014)