Netflix will not add state-run channels to Russian service, defying regulation

A photo of the logo of the Netflix streaming service provider in Paris September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc said on Monday that in the current circumstances it has no plans to add state-run channels to its Russian service, despite a regulation that would require the streaming service to distribute state-backed channels.

"Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service," said a Netflix spokesman in a statement, referring to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Politico first reported that Netflix, which launched its service in Russia in October 2020, would fall under the new Russian regulations requiring compliance on March 1.

The regulations, overseen by Russia's communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, require audiovisual services with more than 100,000 subscribers in that country to distribute 20 free-to-air news, sports and entertainment channels.

The Netflix spokesman declined to comment on timing or whether the company has held conversations with Russian regulators. It is unclear how the service will be impacted by its decision.

Russia is one the 190 countries were Netflix is available.

Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.