Watch Live TV from Russia
Television is the most popular medium in Russia, with 74% of the population watching national television channels routinely and 59% routinely watching regional channels. There are 3300 television channels in total. 3 channels have a nationwide outreach (over 90% coverage of the Russian territory): Channel One, Russia-1 and NTV. Between 1941 and 1945 all television broadcasts in the nation were interrupted because of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union. During these early years, most television programs were about life in the Soviet Union, cultural activities and sports.
Censorship and self-censorship
Since 2012 – the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s third presidential term, numerous laws have been passed to make censorship and extensive surveillance easier. Such measures also led to self-censorship. A 2016 report by PEN America shows that limitations of freedom of expression in today’s Russia do not affect only journalism and media, but the overall cultural space. According to the report, a confluence of laws aimed at contrasting terrorism and religious hatred and protecting children have led to an environment in which is increasingly hard to distribute fiction, broadcast independent television and promote independent theatre and music productions. In addition, the selectivity and, at times, arbitrariness of Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media, create uncertainty for writers, authors, publishers and other media producers, which often results in self-censorship as a way to avoid uncertain rules and arbitrary enforcement.