CNN International Obtains a Broadcast License in Russia (Report)

Moscow - H - 2015
Associated Press

The move opens doors for the network to return to the market, which it exited two months ago.

CNN International has been granted a broadcast license in Russia, which allows the network to return to the country two months after its exit.

According to news agency RBC, Vadim Ampelonsky, a spokesman for Roskomnazor (Russia's communications regulator), said that the application has been approved and a license will be issued to CNN International in the near future, allowing the network to resume broadcast in Russia.

The network applied for a broadcasting license two weeks ago, and Roskomnazor immediately said a decision regarding the application was likely to be made earlier than the 30 days stipulated by law.

CNN announced its exit from Russia last November, effective January 1, 2015, in a move widely believed to be triggered by a piece of legislation banning commercials on Russian pay TV as of the beginning of this year.

The Russian regulator later said it had nothing to do with CNN's decision but would welcome the network's return to the country as long as proper procedure is observed.

As soon as CNN exited Russia, it began discussions with Roskomnadzor officials about a possible return. A top-level meeting between CNN executives and the regulator's officials was held last month.

Neither the network nor the regulator would comment on how CNN is going to comply with the new law, which was recently amended but still applies to foreign broadcasters, while local networks are exempt.