Industry Opposes Bill Allowing Only One Provider of Internet TV Content 

Russia’s Association of Computer and Information Technology (APKiT) has appealed to the authorities to suspend work on a bill to have a single provider of TV content on the internet, Kommersant reports.

In a letter to the head of the State Duma’s Committee on Information Policy and the deputy Prime Minister, Nikolai Komlev, the executive director of APKiT, said that if the bill is passed without discussion before the coronavirus pandemic is over, all pay-TV operators will have to install new software to distribute TV channels. Currently, they have no opportunity to spend additional resources, Komlev said

Kommersant wrote that the bill was submitted to the State Duma last July and involves the creation of a single content provider, from which online platforms will be able to stream 20 TV channels.

However, there already is such a provider, as last December broadcasters told TV operators that as of this February they can only distribute online versions of channels through the Vitrina TV player.

The latter is owned by National Media Group (NMG), CTC Media, Channel One and VGTRK, with Gazprom-Media also expected to become a founder in the near future.

The deadline was later extended to May.

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