The media regulator of the Netherlands has granted the Dozhd T.V. channel permission for commercial television broadcasting.
The regulator’s website reports that the decision was made on December 22, 2022. The media paid attention to this only now after it was written by the correspondent of Latvian Radio in Brussels, Artem Konokhov. “Dozhd” has not commented on this yet.
European license of the T.V. channel “Dozhd”
The T.V. channel confirmed that it had received a European broadcasting license in the Netherlands. “Dozhd” will move its editorial center to Amsterdam. The studio of the T.V. channels in the Netherlands will become the main one as soon as the employees of “Dozhd” receive permission to work in the country.
At the same time, the channel continues to appeal the decision of the Latvian media regulator to revoke the license and also plans to keep the bureau and part of the staff in Riga.
Permission to broadcast under the brand “Dozhd” was received by TVR Studios B.V., according to the regulator’s website.
Latvian radio suggested that the license allow Dozhd to distribute its programs through cable television networks in all E.U. countries, including Latvia.
Latvia does not want to cooperate with the Russian propaganda T.V. channel
On December 6, 2022, the Latvian National Electronic Media Council revoked the broadcasting license of the Dozhd T.V. channel. This happened after presenter Aleksei Korostelev said that journalists’ reports help to equip the Russian army.
“We hope that many soldiers, including us, were able to help, for example, with equipment and basic amenities at the front,” the presenter said.
On the morning of December 9, a press conference dedicated to the ban on the broadcasting of the T.V. The channel “Dozhd” in Latvia was held in Riga. It also discussed the forced resettlement of journalists from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia to the Baltic country.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations that help media workers and their families spoke about the importance of supporting journalists in times of war: Gunta Sloga, Director of Baltic Media Excellence Center, and Sabini Sile, Emergency Support Coordinator of Media Hub Riga (and a member of the Board of Directors of Fix Media Foundation).
And the editor-in-chief of “Dozhd,” Tikhon Dziadko, answered the questions about the claims to the T.V. channel from the Latvian authorities in detail. Here are the main points from this press conference.
What exactly are the claims of the Latvian authorities?
On December 6, the National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP) of Latvia revoked the broadcasting license of the T.V. channel “Dozhd.” The decision came into force two days later, on December 8. NEPLP also plans to block the broadcast of “Dozhd” on YouTube in Latvia.
The reason for the ban on “Dozhd” in NEPLP was explained by the “threat to national security and public order.”
According to the agency, the decision was preceded by the following violations by the T.V. channel.
– lack of soundtrack in the state language for broadcasts;
– a map with Crimea as part of Russia, shown on the air of the channel;
– The phrase “our army” said on air about the Russian army;
– the ambiguous statement of “Dozhd” presenter Alexei Korostelev on air about the war.
The head of NEPLP, Ivars Abolins, said that the management of “Dozhd” “is not aware of the significance and seriousness of the violations, so it cannot operate on the territory of Latvia.”
In addition, according to him, NEPLP also took into account information received from the State Security Service (SDB), one of the Latvian special services. Earlier, the State Security Service began an investigation of “Dozhd,” but Abolins did not specify what information it provided to NEPLP.
T.V. channel “Dozhd”
“Dozhd” is a Russian TV channel that was launched in 2010. After the beginning of the full-scale war Russia in Ukraine, broadcasting near Russia was suspended. However, it resumed again when the channel received a license in Latvia. Then the Latvian authorities revoked the license.
However, the media regulator of the Netherlands granted the channel “Dozhd” permission for commercial television broadcasting today, 10.01.2023, which means that all European countries will see the channel. Thus, Russia will spread its propaganda influence to a largely European audience.