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Eutelsat says it will stop broadcasting Russian channels

A still frame from a news broadcast on Rossiya 1. (Graphic by The Desk)

One of Europe’s biggest providers of satellite communications says it will stop broadcasting channels originating from Russia.

The decision by Eutelsat to stop offering the channels comes after French regulators ordered the satellite company to do so over concerns that the channels were broadcasting misinformation and propaganda related to Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. The order came after the regulator, Arcom, found Eutelsat’s signals were being beamed into parts of Ukraine.

“Eutelsat acknowledges the new decision issued this afternoon by Arcom, the French Regulatory Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication,” a spokesperson for the satellite company said this week. “Eutelsat confirms that according to its policy of systematically implementing Arcom’s decisions, it will no longer be involved in the broadcasting of the three sanctioned channels within the prescribed time frame.”

Eutelsat did not name the channels it would no longer provide, but The Desk confirmed on Friday that the company will stop broadcasting Rossia 1, Perviy Kanal and NTV. It already complied with an order to stop broadcasting localized variants of RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik, Russia’s external news broadcasters.

Earlier this year, the European Union sanctioned broadcasters based in Russia over the country’s decision to invade Ukraine. Participating EU states were urged to cancel licenses associated with Russia-based broadcasters.

Eutelsat primarily competes in the satellite communication space with SES, which operates the Astra fleet of satellites. SES pulled RT and other Russian-based channels from its satellites over the summer.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).