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Launched 30 October 2014
Network RT
Owned by (ANO) TV-Novosti (Under Russia Today TV UK Limited)
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.02% (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Headquarters Millbank Tower, London
Sister channel(s) RT International
RT America
Rusiya Al-Yaum
RT Documentary
RT Actualidad
RT Deutsch
Website rt.com/uk
Freeview Channel 135 (SD)
Channel 113 (HD)
Freesat Channel 206 (SD/HD)
Sky (UK & Ireland) Channel 512 (SD/HD)
Channel 518 (SD)
Astra 2G 11568 V 22000 5/6
11225 V 27500 2/3 (HD)
Virgin Media (Ireland) Channel 241
Streaming media
Live stream On Air

RT UK is a TV channel based in London. It is part of the RT network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow and subsidised by the Russian government. The channel was launched on 30 October 2014.

RT UK focuses on covering the United Kingdom. RT UK positions itself as an outsider with a mission to oppose what it portrays as a pro-war, pro-Western media orthodoxy in the UK. The Russian news agency seeks to fashion an identity as alternative media as opposed to BBC News and Sky News. The channel claims its position is "to challenge dominant power structures in Britain by broadcasting live and original programming with a progressive UK focus", "not subject to the metropolitan elite's London bias".[1]

The launch of RT UK was greeted with a barrage of criticism in the British press. In The Observer, Nick Cohen accused the channel of spreading conspiracy theories and being a "prostitution of journalism"[2] and in The Times, Oliver Kamm called on broadcasting regulator Ofcom to act against this "den of deceivers".[3][4] Richard Sambrook, director of the Centre of Journalism at Cardiff University was quoted as saying "It's a surprising move to focus resources on the UK. It's not a commercial proposition, therefore the main purpose must be to gain influence. It's about soft power for the Kremlin".[5] In a pre-launch statement, RT correspondent Polly Boiko said "So much is made of how RT is funded. It’s been cast as the Big Bad Wolf of the news media landscape," and "I think many of us... see the launch of RT UK as an opportunity to shake off the accusations levelled at the channel"[6]

The channel operates out of studios in Millbank Tower. The channel offers four hours of programming per day, Monday to Friday UK News at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. On Fridays there is no 10pm UK News bulletin. The RT UK News anchor is Bill Dod. Like its counterpart in the United States, it simulcasts RT International at all other times.

RT UK serves as the home and production base of RT's UK based programmes. RT UK is the channel RT delivers to United Kingdom satellite providers. The channel is also available online through RT's website.

RT UK Programming

Notable RT UK Presenters


Upon RT's decision to create a separate UK cut-in, the network allegedly attempted to place billboard ads in London promoting the channel. The ads were rejected because agencies felt they would be illegal under UK laws on political advertising. The network instead placed ads showing the word "redacted" on them in an alleged protest of ad company decisions. The UK Advertising Standards Authority claimed it had not banned the ads or even received any complaint about them.[9]

RT International from Moscow has been repeatedly cited by the UK broadcast regulator Ofcom for failure to remain impartial.[5] London-based RT International correspondent Sara Firth claims she had resigned the previous July after five years with the channel over its coverage of the MH17 disaster.[10] Shortly after the RT UK launch, Ofcom threatened the international channel with sanctions should further breaches of the broadcasting code occur.[4]


  1. "RT launches dedicated UK news channel - RT UK".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Cohern, Nick (8 November 2014). "Russia Today: why western cynics lap up Putin's TV poison". The Observer. London. Retrieved 24 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Kamm, Oliver (31 October 2014). "We cannot allow Russia Today to get away with its lies". The Times. London. Retrieved 24 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ennis, Stephen (16 November 2014). "Russia's global media operation under the spotlight". BBC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chris Johnston. "Russia Today launches UK version in new soft power onslaught". the Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Osborn, Andrew (30 October 2014). "Kremlin-funded broadcaster lauded by Putin starts TV news channel in UK". Reuters UK. Retrieved 22 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Keiser Report page at Rt.com.
  8. "Sam Delaney's News Thing" page at rt.com.
  9. Patrick Smith. "Everything You Need To Know About Russia Today UK". BuzzFeed.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Plunkett, John (18 July 2014). "Russia Today reporter resigns in protest at MH17 coverage". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External Links