RT pulled from African transmissions
February 27, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Broadcasts of RT, the former Russia Today, have been pulled over Africa. While the channel went dark on South Africa’s DStv pay-TV bouquet in March last year, there were still transmissions on StarSat and StarTimes for many African countries.
These have now ended with SES blacking out the channel. SES in the past has said that the satellite operator has been “engaging with our customers and regulatory authorities to assess both what we can do and must do under the various legal regimes to which we are subject. SES is prepared to take immediate action and implement any instructions we receive from regulatory authorities”.
Those instructions have now led to the channel’s demise. Matters were complicated by the inevitable legal contracts in place.
SES says that it “turned the designated signals off per the European sanctions passed on 2 March 2022” but that Russia Today delivered through its SES-5 satellite was not one that the European Union has banned.
The China-backed StarSat and StarTimes signals of RT went dark on February 24th.
StarSat, in its notification, says it “regrets to inform our subscribers that effective immediately, Russia Today (channel 260) will be offline until further notice”. It added: “The satellite company responsible for beaming RT to StarSat has terminated the signal due to sanctions implemented by the European Union.”