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Russian Court Ignores Consumers' Support for Oppositionist TV Station Dozhd

Parliament deputies suggest that a probe should be launched into the legitimacy of the channel's original agreements with pay-TV operators.

MOSCOW -- A Russian court has declined to accept consumers' lawsuit against pay-TV operators, which turned off the oppositionist station Dozhd. Meanwhile, Parliament deputies have suggested a probe into the station.

On Thurs., Moscow's Savelovsky court said it would not take any action about the lawsuit, filed by a local consumer protection group, as it contains some irregularities.

STORY: Russian Opposition Station 'Dozhd' Protestors Arrested in Moscow 'Umbrella' Action

The consumer protection group earlier said that the lawsuit had good prospects, as by turning Dozhd off and not offering any compensation to their subscribers, pay-TV operators violated the rights of subscribers all over Russia.

Local satellite and cable operators turned off the oppositionist station last month following a controversy over a WWII opinion poll run on the network's website, while the owner said it was just a pretext, and the real reason was Dozhd's oppositionist ideology.

Deputies of the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russian Parliament, suggested that a probe should be launched into the legitimacy of the channel's original agreements with pay-TV operators.

Deputy Vadim Dengin was quoted by the Russian wire service Interfax as saying that the channel could have used "administrative resources," meaning that connection to senior state officials could have helped the oppositionist station to get on subscription plans of all major pay-TV operators. He added that Dozhd used to enjoy "privileges" from pay TV operators and that he would be interested in knowing what senior officials "made or influenced decisions that ensured privileged access of Dozhd to the [broadcasting] infrastructure."