Netflix distribution uncertain in Russia

Despite new Russian broadcasting and media laws coming into force during June which has already affected many ‘Western’ broadcasters and limits foreign ownership of online video services in Russia to 20 per cent, Netflix is still able to operate according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor previously said that it expected Netflix to partner with a local player, but as yet no announcement has been made.

Netflix is not alone, and Apple’s iTunes is similarly affected. The Hollywood Reporter says that Amazon Prime Video is not affected because it does not offer localised video content.

Earlier laws which restrict foreign broadcasting ownership were enacted in 2016 and some major names were required to tie up with local media players. However, Modern Times Group pulled out of Russia altogether. Discovery, Disney, Viacom and Turner Broadcasting all found local partners.

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