Sunday, February 10, 2019

Flashmob Protests Hit Seven Regions Slated to Lose Analogue TV Broadcasting on Monday

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 9 – 2400 people in the seven additional regions which on Monday will shift from analogue to digital television and thus deprive those with older TVs of the ability to watch Moscow and regional television went into the streets holding up the universal sign of a station going off the air, according to TASS (

            In December, as a test, this shift took place in Tver. On Monday, it will affect viewers in Magadan, Chechnya, Penza, Ryazan, Tula, Ulyanovsk and Yaroslavl. This change will extend to additional regions 10 additional regions in April and the rest in June

            Those with digital capable televisions will be able to watch 20 federal channels free over the air.  Those without such TVs will not; and the issue as to whether the new digital broadcasts will include regional stations remains up in the air, to the consternation of many local people (

            In general, those with older analogue sets are older, less educated, and less urban than those with the newer digital kinds; and with the end of analogue broadcasting, the Kremlin will lose one of its most important links to its most natural and reliable constituency, something certain to have political consequences down the line.

            The Russian authorities were warned months ago about this threat and urged to adopt programs that would help those without digital sets to buy them. But the Kremlin has failed to come up with either the money or the program, and consequently, those most affected, almost certainly in many cases, for the first time ever, are becoming protesters.   

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