Russian state-funded TV channel has licence stripped away as it's 'not fit' to hold it, Ofcom says
The channel had already disappeared from all broadcast platforms in the UK
The Kremlin-backed news channel RT has had its license to broadcast in the UK revoked "with immediate-effect" by Ofcom.
In a statement, the regulator said: "We have revoked RT’s licence to broadcast in the UK with immediate effect.
"We do not consider RT's licensee, ANO TV Novosti, fit and proper to hold a UK broadcast licence.
They continued: "Today’s decision comes amid 29 ongoing investigations by Ofcom into the due impartiality of RT’s news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
"We consider the volume and potentially serious nature of the issues raised within such a short period to be of great concern – especially given RT’s compliance history, which has seen the channel fined £200,000 for previous due impartiality breaches."
We have revoked RT’s licence to broadcast in the UK with immediate effect.
We do not consider RT to be fit and proper to hold a UK licence and cannot be satisfied that it can be a responsible broadcaster.
Read about our decision ⬇️https://t.co/LWKtMxaCQm pic.twitter.com/2BBTyqrHXo
— Ofcom (@Ofcom) March 18, 2022
Ofcom said its investigation took into account the fact that RT is funded by the Russian state and the laws in Russia that clamp down on independent journalism that doesn't follow the state's narrative.
The channel was removed from broadcast platforms earlier this month after a ban was imposed on RT by the European Union.
Although the UK has left the EU, the RT feed was provided to British broadcasters via satellite companies in France and Luxembourg, the BBC reports.
Ofcom Chief Executive Dame Melanie Dawes, said: “Freedom of expression is something we guard fiercely in this country, and the bar for action on broadcasters is rightly set very high.
"Following an independent regulatory process, we have today found that RT is not fit and proper to hold a licence in the UK. As a result we have revoked RT’s UK broadcasting licence.”
RT has previously called Ofcom a "tool of the government."
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