RT launches long-awaited German TV broadcast — Analysis

Thursday will see RT launch its brand new 24/7 German-language television channel. According to the outlet, this is because of the rising interest in its online content from German speakers.

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Among other programs, the channel will broadcast news, talk shows, and documentaries, including ‘Fasbenders Woche’, featuring a prominent German journalist, Thomas Fasbender. “We will do everything in our power not to disappoint our German-speaking audience,” RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said.

The audience for RT’s German language online platform, RT DE, has been steadily growing ever since its launch back in 2014. CrowdTangle data indicates that it is the current top German-language news site on Facebook. Based on the total number of interactions in the last twelve months, this surpasses media giants such as Der Spiegel or Bild magazine and the ZDF. 

Tubular Labs says that RT’s videos rank among the top five most-viewed Facebook videos. This is in addition to those of other German greats such as Spiegel TV and Zeit Online. RT’s multilingual family of websites has also turned out to be more popular than that of Germany’s state-owned international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, when it comes to visits from Germany. 

“We see the interest in RT growing in Germany, and we are glad that [people] are able to not just read or listen to its content, but to watch it as well,”Dinara Toktosunova (head of RT DE Productions), said. 

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However, such popularity comes at a high price. RT DE has suffered several significant setbacks during the past few months. Earlier this year reports claimed that Berlin had pressured Luxembourg to refuse RT a licence. Germany denied any involvement in the refusal. 

YouTube pulled two German-language YouTube channels, RT DE, and Der Fehlende Part in September over claims that it was violating community guidelines. Following the decision, RT’s editor-in-chief branded it a “declaration of media war against Russia by Germany,”Moscow was asked for its response. RT DE had been the fourth-most important news source in German before its removal. It was ahead of Deutsche Welle (and a few other news broadcasters). 

“The way Germany has fought and continues to fight against RT has been unmatched by any other country in the world,” Simonyan said, adding that this fact would not affect the channel’s determination to present quality content to its audience. 

RT DE ́s news and current affairs programs are carried by some of the most powerful satellites covering Europe such as Eutelsat 16A (Position: 16.0°E, Frequency (MHz):12552, Polarization: V, Symbol Rate (SR): 2070, FEC: 2/3) and Eutelsat 9B (Position: 9.0°E, Frequency (MHz): 11727, Polarization: V, Symbol Rate (SR): 30000, FEC: 3/4). RT DE can be viewed on SmartTV and its mobile app (iOS, Android), as well as its website.



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