As previously reported by LSM, TV Rain fell foul of Latvia's National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) in December following an on-air controversy and was speedily ordered to cease broadcasting.
Upon its relocation to Rīga from Moscow just 6 months earlier, hopes were high that Rīga might become an important hub for Russian media opposed to the regime of Vladimir Putin. However, such hopes proved short-lived and are now dimmed even further with TV Rain announcing plans to relocate its editorial office once again – this time to Amsterdam – as soon as possible.
The channel will thus regain the right to broadcast on the territory of the European Union. Natalja Sindejeva, the director of the TV Rain channel, already lives in Amsterdam.
The Dutch Media Authority announced this week that TV Rain has been issued with a broadcast license for 5 years. Documents provided by the regulator show that representatives of TV Rain actually submitted their initial request on December 6 – the same day the license was pulled in Latvia.
Netherland Media Regulator Decision.pdfDownload
"[TV Rain] will move its editorial center to Amsterdam, and the Amsterdam studio will become the main one as soon as the employees receive permission to work in the Netherlands," the media channel announced January 10 on its Telegram social media account.
Notwithstanding its departure from Latvia, the TV channel also signalled it intends to appeal the NEPLP's decision to revoke its license.
"[TV Rain] does not threaten Latvia's national security, while the decision itself was made behind closed doors without the opportunity for representatives of the channel to present their arguments. In court, we will defend our reputation, which we have worked to build for the last 13 years," it stated, adding that it believes that the NEPLP's decision may set a negative precedent both for other Russian-language media registered in Latvia, and for the Latvian media environment as a whole."