|Photo by Charles Atkeison.|
CNN will not be seen on channels in Russia beginning next year, Turner Broadcasting said Monday.
"Turner International is assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes in Russian media legislation," the company said in a written statement. "We are bringing our existing distribution relationships to an end while we do that.
"We hope to re-enter the market in due course, and will notify our partners of any update about resuming these services."
The network's news operation in Moscow is unaffected, the statement said.
Cable distributors were notified in a letter from Turner Broadcast System Europe Ltd., a division of Time Warner, according to the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. The letter did not spell out a reason for the move.
One distributor, Akado, confirmed it had received the notification, the news agency reported. Another distributor. VimpelCom, also acknowledged being notified and said it hoped the news channel would be back in Russia next year.
The Russian newspaper Vedomosti said some experts tied the pullout to the increasing difficulty in obtaining licenses. Another suggested it was linked to a drop in advertising.
In a further tightening, Russian media law was amended in 2010 to cap foreign participation in a broadcasting operation to 50%. In 2014, the ceiling was dropped to 20%.