Mar 1, 2022 - World

DirecTV dropping RT America in light of war in Ukraine

Photo Illustration: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

DirecTV plans to drop RT America from its lineup in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a spokesperson said.

Why it matters: TV distributors in the U.S. are facing increased pressure to remove Russian state media from their platforms.

  • DirecTV rival Dish said in a statement earlier this week it's "closely monitoring the situation."

Details: "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.

  • DirecTV had been reviewing programmers in its lineup with contracts up for expiration this year and was already assessing the value of RT America for its customers, per a spokesperson. The satellite TV company thought it was necessary to move the timeline up from mid-year following the events in Ukraine.

The big picture: Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine has finally pushed Western institutions to crack down on Russian state-backed media outlets.

  • The European Commission said it will ban "the Kremlin's media machine" in the EU. Several companies, including Google, Roku, TikTok, Facebook and Microsoft, are already carrying out that ban and are restricting access to Russian state-owned media within the EU.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Broadcasters called on U.S. broadcasters to “cease carrying any state-sponsored programming with ties to the Russian government or its agents,” citing "the unprovoked aggression exhibited by Russia against the free and sovereign people of Ukraine."

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