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CNN Applies for Russian Broadcast License Month After Quitting Country

A replica of the newsroom at the CNN Center in the U.S.

U.S. cable news channel CNN has applied for a broadcast license from Russia's state media watchdog, just one month after leaving the country following the introduction of a restrictive media advertising law.

State media regulator Roskomnadzor received the application Tuesday and now has 30 days to consider it, news agency Interfax reported citing the agency's press secretary.

In November CNN announced it would stop broadcasting in Russia from Jan. 1, when a law banning advertisements on pay television was set to come into effect.

That law would have forbidden all advertising on subscription channels on the grounds that it presented unfair competition to state-dominated broadcast channels.

But the law was widely criticized by cable media and in January legislation was amended so that cable channels with 75 percent Russian content could show advertising. Russian content is defined as any content commissioned by companies based in Russia and presented in Russian.

Russian media have come under increasingly stiff regulation in recent years. Last year a rapidly-passed bill restricted foreign ownership of Russian media companies to a 20 percent stake. Foreign investors, who own majority shares in many of Russia's glossy magazines, have until Feb. 1, 2017 to comply. The Moscow Times is itself owned by Finnish company Sanoma Independent Media.

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