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4 Mar 2022

Euan O'Byrne Mulligan, The Guardian

United Kingdom: BBC & ITV stop licensing content in Russia as a response to a military invasion to Ukraine

BBC stops all content licensing in Russia following Ukraine invasion, 1 March 2022

The BBC will no longer license TV content to Russian clients in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Britain’s public broadcaster is also requesting the remaining episodes of two programmes, Dancing with the Stars and David Attenborough’s The Green Planet, are not aired on Russian state TV, despite the rights to both having already been sold.

The TV sector has joined many others in distancing itself from Russia as western countries increase sanctions against the nation. A spokesperson for the BBC said: “The BBC’s executive team were meeting today and they have decided to stop all content licensing to Russian customers."

ITV also announced it will cease working with Russian clients following the invasion. A spokesperson said: “We have made the decision to stop new sales to Russian clients as we do not believe it appropriate to be doing business with them at this time”...

Read more: War in Ukraine: BBC suspends its journalists' work in Russia

The BBC is temporarily suspending its journalists' work in Russia, in response to a new law which threatens to jail anyone Russia deems to have spread "fake" news on the armed forces.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie said the legislation "appears to criminalise the process of independent journalism". The Kremlin objects to the conflict being called a war, instead calling it a "special military operation".

BBC News in Russian will still be produced from outside the country. Access to BBC websites had already been restricted in Russia.

News outlets Deutsche Welle, Meduza and Radio Liberty have also had their services limited, Russia's state-owned news agency RIA said...

Record numbers of people have read the BBC's Russian language news website since the invasion, seeking up-to-date information on the conflict...