Defying a one-year suspension imposed by the Lithuanian media watchdog on RTR Planeta, a part of cable TV operators in the country continue to air a different version of the the Russian-language channel.
RTR television van
© Augustas Didžgalvis

Broadcasters doubt if the ban by the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission, or LRTK, on Sweden-registered RTR Planeta applies to other versions of the channel.

The LRTK management admit that the sanctions may be partially inoperative due to certain legal nuances.

LRTK Deputy Chairman Mantas Martišius confirmed to BNS that the majority of 48 TV service providers had informed the commission that they were broadcasting Sweden-registered RTR Planeta. Five providers had informed it that they were broadcasting the Russia-registered version, and they did not stop the broadcasts on Friday.

"Legally, the channel in the Russian Federation differs from that in Swedish. So, it possible that they did not turn it off," Martisius said.

Lithuania's major TV service providers confirmed to BNS that they had taken RTR Planeta off the air on Friday, as ordered by the watchdog.

The Lithuanian Cable Television Association has asked LRTK for explanation.

"We are waiting for the commission's explanation. The question is whether we can rebroadcast another version (of RTR Planeta)," Virginijus Jurgelevičius, CEO of Balticum TV, a member of the association, told BNS.

Paulius Živatkauskas, CEO of the TV service providers Init, also said that the company was considering replacing the banned version of RTR Planeta with its Russia-registered version.

LRTK Chairman Edmundas Vaitekūnas said that in order to avoid such ambiguities, TV service providers would be required to demand that foreign broadcasters state clearly what country their channel is registered in.

The commission imposed the one-year suspension on RTR Planeta last week, saying that three instances of incitement to war and hatred in programs aired on the Russian-language channel had been registered over the past year.

The watchdog said that the restriction applied specifically to the RTR Planeta channel registered in Sweden, a EU member state.

LRTK had previously twice suspended broadcasts by RTR Planeta, in 2015 and 2016, for distributing content inciting to war and hatred.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Grigorian and Puipa among candidates for national culture awards

12 candidates have been selected for the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts and they...

Famous Lithuanian humorist died at age 45 in Spain (3)

On Monday evening, the news website DELFI.lt announced that one of the most famous Lithuanian humorist...

Lithuanian opera seen by almost 90,000 people at Venice Biennale

Some 87,000 people have visited Lithuania's pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale and seen the Sun...

Portugal’s documentary festival tribute to documentary maker Stonys

This year Portugal’s documentary festival “ Porto/Post/Doc ” will pay special attention to...

Latest Lithuanian films and projects to compete in Tallinn

Lithuania joins Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (aka PÖFF) with a rich line-up and a growing...