Russia’s Ministry of Communications is discussing the possibility of obliging OTT services to carry national channels currently distributed on the first and second DTT multiplexes.
According to RNS and AKTR, the ministry has been consulting with ISPs and TV channels on the matter.
Quoting Alexei Volin, the deputy minister of communications, they add that OTT services can currently distribute must-carry TV channels, but only if they are licensed pay-TV operators.
They should also have agreements with subscribers, and the order and content of the TV channels must be changed, too – not only for streaming broadcasts, but also for time shifting.
Significantly, Volin stressed that the discussions only related to streaming and not online movie services.
Although the regulator essentially believes that must-carry should applies to all media, broadcasters believe there are risks in distributing their services in the OTT environment.
The purpose of the discussions is to develop a consensus and then formalise it in the regulatory framework.