Sky TV claims to be a “responsible broadcaster”.
Sky Television stopped broadcasting Russia Today following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine and criticism from the Russian state-controlled channel.
RT is still listed on Sky’s menu, but with the message that it is “currently unavailable”.
Sky spokeswoman Chris Major said Sky had decided to suspend the broadcast of RT “in given the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine”.
“As a responsible broadcaster, we take great care to ensure that we comply with the Code of Broadcasting Standards. We have had an ongoing dialogue with the BSA over the past few days and have received complaints from a number of customers,” she said.
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“The BSA has also warned all broadcasters of the need for special care when reporting on crises. As we have no editorial control over RT, we have made the decision to suspend the broadcast of RT while we continue to assess news content against New Zealand broadcast standards.
Sky TV on Friday declined to say whether it had been paid to broadcast the channel, which has been branded Kremlin propaganda by the UK government and faces a possible ban there.
It was the only continental European news channel carried by Sky TV in New Zealand.
On Thursday, Sky TV’s chief executive, Sophie Moloney, appeared to defend Sky’s distribution of RT, saying “it’s all down to customer choice”.
“There is content that does not appeal to me. It may appeal to others,” Moloney said at the time, while saying he was “more on the alert regarding this chain and its delivery to New Zealand homes.”
Moloney made the comments before Sky was questioned by Thingand declined to provide an answer, as to whether she was paid to air the channel.
Australian pay-TV company Foxtel also pulled RT from its programming on Saturday, citing the situation in Ukraine.
The Broadcasting Standards Authority wrote to broadcasters on Friday to “remind them” of its guidelines for covering crises, saying it had done so in light of the Ukraine crisis and the escalating Omicron outbreak.
He also said he was ready to expedite complaints about media coverage of the invasion of Ukraine.