According to Russian news service ITAR-TASS, a letter between CNN’s Russian bureau and Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited, a division of Time Warner, CNN’s parent company, reveals CNN will end broadcasts on Russian cable and satellite TV by December 31, 2014.
Russian telecom company VimpelCom confirmed the existence of the letter to the Russian newspaper Vedomosti, which states that Vimpelcom's press service said: “Yes, we have received such notification. We hope next year the channel will be back in Russia.”
CNN has been broadcasting in Russia since 1993, just a few years after the channel launched in the United States and following the end of the Cold War.
In 2009, Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, began to enforce tighter regulations on foreign stations operating in the country, requiring them to get a local broadcasting license within six months.
More recent changes in Russian media legislation came last month, when president Vladimir Putin signed a new law lowering the maximum share in Russian mass media companies that foreign citizens could hold, from 50 per cent down to 20 per cent.
According to various news sources, an emailed statement from Turner says: “Turner International is assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes in Russian media legislation. We are bringing our existing distribution relationships to an end while we do that. We hope to re-enter the market in due course, and will notify our partners of any update about resuming these services.”