South Africa’s Pay TV group, MultiChoice’s DStv, is reportedly looking to, once again, bring back the channel Russia Today (RT) after China’s StarTimes is said to have gone ahead and listed the station on its StarSat Pay TV platform.
MuliChoice cancelled RT on its satellite pay-TV service, DStv, on 2 March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in international sanctions and trade restrictions imposed against Russia.
The sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) saw Russia Today’s satellite uplink, resulting in Google and other companies blocking the channel’s YouTube streaming.
Since 2 March, DStv subscribers have been shown a title card on DStv channel 407 explaining how the blocking of Russia Today indicates that the RT signal is not available through Intelsat’s IS-20 satellite transponder, which MultiChoice uses to lease space.
China’s StarTimes Media has confirmed its acquisition of Russia Today and will be airing the channel on StarSat channel 260.
According to StarTimes, it is uplinking the Russia Today channel feed through SES SA’s SES-5 satellite transponder on which StarTimes/StarSat is leasing space for Southern Africa.
Furthermore, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) gave StarSat application permission to add Russia Today.
StarSat spokespersons said, “ICASA gave us its approval on 10 May, and we launched the channel on 11 May, and it’s now available on our Super package from US$6.71 per month.”
“StarSat prides itself in sourcing relevant and current content to ensure that customers get the best value; thus we regard RT Global as a news channel that focuses on major economic, political and social issues of our time,” added the spokesperson.