The Latvian parliament (Saeima) has approved at the third reading amendments to the Electronic Mass Media Law.
According to the amendments, TV programme distribution service providers must ensure that at least 80% of additional programmes included in the basic TV package contain content whose original language is an official language of the European Union or the European Economic Area.
In addition, a programme may not be included in the basic package if the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) has revoked its retransmission permit in the past three years. The amendments to the law will take effect on July 1, 2021.
Artus Kaimins, the head of the Seimas Commission on Human Rights and Public Affairs and responsible for promoting the bill, said: “channels propagating the Kremlin narrative should not be included in the basic package of cable television or any other television service providers”.
The amendments also give the NEMMC powers, based on information about ‘beneficial owners’, to revoke broadcasting or retransmission licences or ban the distribution of on-demand services.