CNN May Return to Russia (Report)

CNN Building - P 2014
AP Images

CNN Building - P 2014

The broadcaster pulled out on Dec. 31 following a ban on pay-TV advertisement.

CNN, which pulled out of Russia as of December 31, following a ban on ads on pay-TV, may return, according to a Russian media report quoting a government source.

On Tuesday, the Russian news agency TASS quoted a source close to Roskomnadzor, Russia's media watchdog, as saying that CNN International could soon resume broadcasting in Russia. According to the source, a decision to return to Russian cable and satellite networks could be made following negotiations between CNN representatives and Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov, which was previously scheduled for late December but was later postponed to late January.

A CNN spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that they "have no fresh comments at this time."

Read more Russia's Cinema Fund Announces 2015 Budget

Last November, CNN said it would bring "existing distribution relationships to an end" following changes in Russian media legislation. CNN's move was apparently triggered by a bill, under which commercials on Russian pay TV were banned as of Jan. 1, 2015.

The government originally explained its move by desire to create equal conditions for pay-TV networks — which collect revenues from both subscriptions and advertisements, and free-to-air stations, which only rely on commercials for revenues.

Later, President Vladimir Putin said during his annual news conference that commercials on pay TV networks were banned at the request of large federal free-to-air stations.

Since December 31, CNN International has been unavailable on Russian satellite and cable networks.