Foxtel pulls Russia Today channel off air

Updated: Foxtel has reversed a decision and pulled RT channel off air following invasion of Ukraine.


Foxtel Group has reversed a decision on the Russia Today channel and has withdrawn it from broadcast.

A Foxtel spokesperson told TV Tonight, “In view of concern about the situation in Ukraine, the Russia Today channel is currently unavailable on Foxtel and Flash.”

The channel has been removed from streaming and will disappear from satellite broadcasting shortly.

It is believed to be the first time Foxtel has suspended a channel off air.


Foxtel will stick with Moscow-based RT channel after SBS confirmed it would suspend Russia Today and NTV Moscow channels.

SBS yesterday suspended the programming after community feedback from the Australian Russian-speaking community.

Foxtel broadcasts the channel, which described the invasion of Ukraine as ‘special operations’ and “demilitarisation of Ukraine” on both its news channels and news streaming service Flash.

Presenters blamed Ukrainians for the death of civilians after they reportedly shot down a Russian missile headed to a military base and cited ‘conflicting reports’ as to whether troops were advancing on Ukrainian cities.

A Foxtel Group spokesperson told TV Tonight, “Foxtel and Flash are committed to diversity in their news channels, including 14 Australian and international news channels on Foxtel and over 20 news sources on Flash. These include BBC World News, CNN and Sky News Australia, as well as Russia Today. Each of these channels have a different editorial approach and provide our subscribers with a choice of varied perspectives on world affairs.

“While we are concerned at the gravity of the situation unfolding, the Foxtel Group does not endorse content from its news channel providers, including Russia Today. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has condemned the invasion and announced sanctions against Russia, was this week a guest at a SKY News dinner in Sydney.

18 Responses

  1. Why the pile-on on Foxtel? Responses are bordering on unhinged. You need a paid subscription to watch it btw. Russia Today is still available free on RT’s Google YouTube channel. No mention of that.

  2. It looks like Foxtel have ‘paused’ broadcasting the programming.
    It’s not good enough.
    The channel needs to be permanently removed, never to return.

  3. I would hope that news shows like Sky News, the ABC, or BBC would try to be objective most of the time. With the common use of smart phones to get selected news coverage which often comes from overseas, any attempt to sensor information could prove difficult, unless the government put restrictions on the internet, which of course would be seen as an impost on our personal freedom of information. Broadcasters like the SBS do keep viewers informed about overseas news coverage and that the views being expressed are not those of the broadcaster, that is all that’s required.

  4. … David writes “Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has condemned the invasion and announced sanctions against Russia, was this week a guest at a SKY News dinner in Sydney.” … why that reference? Foxtel and Sky News are two different companies … and News Corp (aka “Murdoch Media” apparently) only owns 65% of Foxtel … has nobody thought to condemn Telstra (that owns the other 35%) in the same way? …

  5. Been watching for interest and yeah they certainly love to push there agenda.Putin’s men told to put down there weapons and basically keep running what there President says they are training,but have been forced to fight because of Ukraine and the lies they continue to say about Russia.When it’s the other way around.Mind you Sky News Australia is not much better in there evening programs

  6. On balance, RT needs to be taken off the Foxtel suite of channels.
    If someone is really hankering for their daily dose of Russian govt propaganda, then as an earlier commented noted, RT is available for free on YouTube.

    Foxtel does itself no favours as a credible news source by broadcasting such overt govt propaganda. They certainly would not stream North Korea news channels, or those of any number of authoritarian regimes. I think that RT now fits in that category.

    Now, sometimes it is a fine line to walk and decisions are not always easy, but RT should be rested from mainstream Foxtel.
    Sadly for RT, it is not as if it is just some independent news outfit that just happens to be located in Russia.

  7. I feel as though it is important to have both sides of the story. Can’t people make up their own minds? I do acknowledge in other countries, state media tends to favour or are sympathetic towards governments. It’s a difficult decision to make and could also create further tensions. RT is still live streaming on YouTube at the time of writing this and has a disclaimer that “RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government.” There could be an option to have a ticker or on-screen text.

      1. It’s being disputed as to whether Ukraine or parts of Ukraine are democratically free. Whether or not that is correct or wrong, I’m not to express. Though I think people should be able to freely decide for themselves or to be able to have conjecture, like fact checks. There’s no denying that there has been an invasion into Ukraine.

      2. I get having that as a gut and emotional reaction and thinking this is good but it’s short-sighted.

        You can be 100% against the invasion, outraged and disgusted. Yet still garner plenty of insight on what is happening from watching networks like RT discuss the Russian perspective. It’d be better to know what they are saying than not.

        Globally this is a complex situation. There are central narratives to the global reactions to this conflict. Why countries won’t are reacting one way or not. Which won’t be discussed or given much time on networks like Fox and CNN. Networks I have watched on Foxtel lie and act as state media to justify illegal invasions.

        So when people talk about looking at various sources, I don’t think anyone is talking about justifying this horrible war. It’s understanding the views and narratives globally and you need more than just Sky News for that.

    1. I agree. Even as merely a means of scrutinising one media outlet’s account against others.

      Receiving one’s news from the same old sources would be unwise as virtually every platform is full of it at one time or another.

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