Russian media is reporting that RT Deutsch, Russia’s German-language media outlet, is launching a new 24/7 live channel that will be broadcast on YouTube. According to an RT Deutsch report:
December 11, 2021 Only five days left and then the time has come: The German-language branch of RT goes on air and sends 24/7/365 news around the clock, every day. With live news, documentaries, reports and entertainment formats, RT enables a fresh and pragmatic view of current affairs and familiarizes the German-speaking audience with the Russian perspective on important events. So subscribe to the “RT auf Sendung” [RT on Air, ed.] YouTube channel and be there live when it kicks off on December 16th. [Translated with Google Translate]
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German media reported earlier that while RT Deutsch failed to obtain a broadcasting license in Germany and so major European satellite operators would not broadcast the channel, the station can be received via a Russian satellite. According to a Digital Fernsehen report:
December 10, 2021 “RT auf Deutsch” — the awkward station name — has not yet received approval, but the station is now being tested so that it can be freely received via the Express AM 8 satellite at the position 14 degrees west. […] The broadcast of a German-language TV program has been planned for a long time — the start was planned for December. Apparently they stick to this schedule. However, there is no broadcasting license for this. An attempt by the Luxembourg authorities failed some time ago. TV providers require a broadcasting license for nationwide programs in Germany. Due to the rejected license applications from the broadcaster, it can currently be assumed that the major European satellite operators Astra and Eutelsat will not broadcast it via their satellite systems. [Translated with Google Translate]
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RT Deutsch (aka RT DE) launched its website in 2014. The channel has not received a German broadcasting license because broadcasting licenses require state independence. In September, YouTube deleted two RT Deutsch channels for uploading content that violated YouTube’s COVID misinformation policy.
RT has been YouTube’s most-watched English news channel worldwide for some time, and its English and Spanish channels remain among the 100 most viewed YouTube news channels.
In 2017, the NYT characterized RT (formerly Russia Today) as follows:
Analysts are sharply divided about the influence of RT. Pointing to its minuscule ratings numbers, many caution against overstating its impact. Yet focusing on ratings may miss the point, says Peter Pomerantsev, who wrote a book three years ago that described Russia’s use of television for propaganda. “Ratings aren’t the main thing for them,” he said. “These are campaigns for financial, political and media influence.” RT and Sputnik propel those campaigns by helping create the fodder for thousands of fake news propagators and providing another outlet for hacked material that can serve Russian interests, said Ben Nimmo, who studies RT for the Atlantic Council. Whatever its impact, RT is unquestionably a case study in the complexity of modern propaganda. It is both a slick modern television network, dressed up with great visuals and stylish presenters, and a content farm that helps feed the European far right. Viewers find it difficult to discern exactly what is journalism and what is propaganda, what may be “fake news” and what is real but presented with a strong slant.
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