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No ads on Russian cable TV?

Russia’s parliament has called for a complete ban on advertising on the country’s cable TV channels. The move is reportedly designed to favour Russia’s own publicly-funded channels.

The Russian State, as well as state-backed Gazprom Media, operate the nation’s three main TV channels and these reach a claimed 58 per cent of the population. However, ratings measurement from TNS says that the actual popularity is nearer 40 per cent.

The changes are said to be designed to create a more level playing field between the country’s basic cable channels which are by and large free to viewers, and ‘premium’ or near-premium cable networks from the likes of Discovery Communications which have a two-tier revenue stream made up of subscription cash and advertising income.

The new legislation, if passed by Russia’s upper house and then signed by President Putin, will come into effect next January.

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