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RT faces multiple Ofcom investigations, Roku drops broadcaster from European channel store

All 15 Ofcom investigations relate to the channel's news programme on Sunday 27th February

RT is facing 15 investigations into breaches of impartiality by UK media regulator Ofcom.

The watchdog said it has observed a “significant increase” in the number of programmes broadcast by RT that warrant investigation under Ofcom’s broadcasting code.

All 15 investigations relate to broadcasts of RT’s News programme between 5am and 7pm on Sunday 27th February.

Ofcom said all of the investigations will be expedited, “given the severity and urgency of the current crisis”. It added it expects full cooperation from RT.

Dame Melanie Dawes, CEO of Ofcom, said: “Given the scale and gravity of the crisis in Ukraine, audiences expect to be able to trust and rely on duly impartial broadcast news.

“When reporting on an armed conflict, we recognise it can be difficult for broadcasters to verify information and events, but it is imperative that they make every effort to do so. They must also explain clearly to audiences where there is uncertainty or where events are disputed.”

“Given the serious on-going situation in Ukraine, we will be concluding our investigations into RT as a matter of urgency,” added Dawes.

Elsewhere, Roku has announced it is removing RT’s app from its store in Europe. Facebook’s owner meta has confirmed it has restricted access to RT and the news agency Sputnik in the European Union.

On Sunday the European Union announced it is banning RT and Sputnik from broadcasting in the bloc.

And Netflix has said it will not carry Russian state television channels on its service in the country.

In December, Russia’s communications watchdog said it would require the streamer to comply with regulations that apply to broadcasters and channels with more than 100,000 daily users.

Under a new law that comes into force today (March 1st), it would be required to carry 20 Russian federal TV channels.

A spokesperson for Netflix told the Hollywood Reporter: “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service.”