EBU Suspends Russian Broadcasters

Eurovision Song Contest
(Image credit: EBU)

The Executive Board of the European Broadcasting Union has suspended the membership of Russian broadcasters—RTR, Channel One and Radio Dom Ostankino—for an indefinite period. The decision was made unanimously by the Executive Board at its meeting on May 26 and effectively ends Russian coverage of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. The  EBU had previously suspended Russian ally Belarusian Television and Radio Company (BTRC) last fall over accusations of “politicizing” the annual popular event. 

RTR is the international arm of Russian state media organization VGRTK, which, along with Channel One, resigned from the EBU in late February after the EBU announced that no Russian acts would be allowed to participate in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. 

The suspension of membership for these media organizations was initiated at a meeting of the Executive Board on April 7. EBU, an alliance of public service media organizations,  said the decision “enters into force immediately and its term will be subject to review. 

“In making its decision, the Executive Board took into account that all three members have the right to appeal the decision of the Council in accordance with the Statute of the European Broadcasting Union, although the suspension of membership will remain in force until the decision on appeal,” the association said.

Mykola Chernotytskyi, Chairman of the Board of Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, applauded the EBU’s decision.

“Public Broadcasting welcomes the position of the Executive Council on the suspension of the membership of the Russian media in the European Broadcasting Union. Because, violating journalistic standards, spreading hate speech and misinformation, these broadcasters are waging an information war not only against Ukraine, but also against the entire civilized world,” she said.

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.