Telia and Elisa suspend broadcasting of Russian-language TV channels | New

Due to the termination of the agreement, Telia TV will no longer broadcast television channels carried by Nord Print OÜ, the local franchisee of Russian-language channels, from April 25, the company announced.

The reason for the end of the cooperation recently revealed extenuating circumstances that Nord Print OÜ does not operate in accordance with the standards of a responsible business as set by Telia for its cooperation partners, Telia announced.

Telia spokesman Raigo Neudorf told ERR that the company will end its cooperation with only one company, namely Nord Print. The broadcasting rights of other Russian-language television channels, for example RTR, are held by another company, OÜ BMU Distribution Group.

According to the commercial register, BMU Distribution Group is owned by a certain Ljubov Domanina, while the board of the company also includes a certain Maksim Domanin. As of last year, the company had three registered employees. It was founded in 2020.

Neudorf said Telia is currently analyzing its other TV packages.

“We are of the opinion that only the state can assess the content of television channels broadcasting in Estonia, taking into account the principles of media freedom. Companies providing television services cannot act as censors for the content of television channels,” he said.

In the coming weeks, Telia will personally inform all its TV service customers of the upcoming change. Telia has announced that it is currently looking for a replacement for the channels.

Nord Print OÜ owns the broadcasting rights for a total of 26 TV channels in Estonia, namely: PBK Estonia, REN TV Estonia, NTV Mir Estonia, Dom Kino Baltic, Carousel, Music in Pervo, Russia: Dachshund in Moscow, Telecom, Telephony, Bank NTV Stiil, NTV Pravo, О!, Poekhali!, KinoMinsk, Nashe Novoe Kino, Rodnoe Kino, Indiiskoyo Kino, KinoKomedia, KinoSeria, КVH TV, М-1 Global, Кukhnaya ТВ, Box TV Plus and HD Life .

Elisa is also ending her contract with Nord Print, as noted.

Elisa also announced that in view of the public interest and society’s expectations, the company has decided to terminate its contract with Nord Print OÜ, whose channels grouped in Elisa’s main bouquet are PBK, REN TV, NTV Mir, Dom Kino and KinoKomedia HD.

In addition, Elisa launched an investigation with the Financial Intelligence Unit, in order to obtain more detailed information on a Latvian court decision reported in the media concerning the violation of EU sanctions by companies representing chains. Russian television.

“We are definitely awaiting the official position of the relevant state authorities on the Latvian court’s decision, which would give all Estonian operators a formal code of conduct regarding contract termination, blocking of channel transmission or withholding of payments,” Toomas Ili, said Elisa’s head of content buying.

A contract in progress will be terminated with two months’ notice in accordance with the notice obligation of the contract. “If the official position of the state is added to this, all operators could be forced to terminate their contracts early,” Ili said.

Elisa will personally notify customers of the change. Elisa will also end her transmission of the above channels on April 25.

As ERR News reported earlier this month, a court in Latvia has fined Baltic Media Alliance (BMA), the owner of another such company which broadcasts Russian television companies in Estonia, as well as in Latvia and Lithuania, for failing to comply with the sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU.

The move follows raids in Riga and Tallinn by the Latvian security police, the VDD, last Friday, in close cooperation with the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS). Other similar raids on BMA have taken place in recent years.

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Sylvester L. Goldfarb