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DirecTV to drop Russian network RT America

DirecTV, the largest satellite provider in the United States, said on Tuesday it was planning to drop Russian media outlet RT America from its line-up in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In line with our previous agreement with RT America, we are accelerating this year’s contract expiration timeline and will no longer offer their programming effective immediately,” DirecTV, about 70% of which is owned by AT&T (T.N), said in a statement to Reuters.

A DirecTV spokesman said the company has been reviewing programmers in its lineup where contracts are set to expire this year, and was already re-assessing the value RT America brings to its broader customer base.

DirecTV found it necessary to remove the network following the devastating events in Ukraine, the spokesman added.

Anna Belkina, RT’s deputy editor-in-chief, issued a statement defending the network’s coverage and saying its critics had failed to identify “a single example, a single grain of evidence that what RT has reported over these days, and continues to report, is not true.”

“When it comes to the Russian voice, or just a different perspective, it is not allowed to exist in the free media space, Belkina said.

Facebook owner Meta Platforms (FB.O) and TikTok on Monday announced they would block access to RT and to the news agency Sputnik in the European Union. read more Streaming service Roku Inc (ROKU.O) also said it is removing RT from the Roku Channel Store in Europe. cnet

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