The criminal tax investigation into the channel’s management, widely viewed as politically motivated, was dropped several weeks ago following protests and international alarm. But now the station claims it is being pushed out of cable networks in some of the nation’s most populous regions.
On Aug. 13, TVi was turned off by nine cable network operators in the eastern Ukrainian steel and coal mining towns of Donetsk and Mariupol. It was replaced with local channels Dom Kino and Donbass. The move follows a massive blackout by Triolan, a major cable operator, which switched the channel off in 11 cities on July 20.
The July blackout alone meant that TVi lost an estimated 200,000 subscribers, decreasing its already modest audience. The channel has only been available through cable and online after its licenses were revoked by the National Television and Radio Council in 2011.