The Russian Communications Ministry has submitted a bill to the country’s parliament (Duma) designed to ensure the legal conditions for the introduction of digital TV.
AKTA reports that it establishes a package of channels, carried on the first multiplex, that will be made available free of charge to all viewers during the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. They include Channel One, Rossiya, Rossiya-2, Rossiya-Kultura, NTV and the Fifth Channel, as well as the radio stations Mayak, Radio Rossiya and Vesti FM. All have to be distributed nationally irrespective of delivery method, be it terrestrial, cable or satellite.
Operators who try to charge for these channels risk losing their licences. However, they will be allowed to charge a fee for the transmission of other channels such as CTC, TNT, Ren TV and MTV.