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History

2014

Dedicated RT UK channel goes live from new London studios.

RT's controversial international ad campaign, "RT. For the Second Opinion." debuts in New York and Washington DC, rejected by several London platforms, and appears as "REDACTED".

RT scores third International Emmy nomination for News, for Guantanamo coverage.

Freelance journalist working for RT’s video agency RUPTLY is critically injured by a gun shot during clashes in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine.

RT is nominated for the Monte-Carlo TV Festival Golden Nymph for Ukraine coverage, alongside BBC News, Sky News and CNN.

At the New York Festivals, RT takes gold for documentary film Blood and Honor, which explores the culture of the Caucasus region.

News Team, a groundbreaking docu-reality series directed by Josh Silberman, the award-winning producer from Deadliest Catch and Fear Factor, and showing the life and work of seven RT journalists, premieres in Cannes.

RT Arabic’s Facebook account doubles its subscriber base in the first five months of the year, to top 3 million followers – more than BBC Arabic and CNN Arabic services

RT’s journalists are targeted in sniper fire while reporting on Kiev’s Maidan protests.

2013

RT completes the move of its studios, headquarters and Moscow offices to a brand-new, state of the art facility. Situated over 28,000 square meters, the new venue houses 6 studios, the latest technology and a staff of more than 2000 professionals; it processes more than 40 incoming satellite and terrestrial feeds, and concurrently streams 8 HD feeds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin tours RT’s new media complex and answers a series of questions on domestic and foreign policy at a round-table with RT journalists.

On YouTube, RT becomes the first TV news channel in history to reach a BILLION views.

RT wins gold at the Monte Carlo Television Festival for its coverage of the Chelyabinsk meteorite crash.

RT takes top prize at the New York Festivals, a prestigious international media forum, for the Julian Assange talk show.

RT’s footage of the February 2013 Siberian meteor blast becomes the most watched video of the event on YouTube, accumulating more than 30 million views in less than a week.

RT launches RUPTLY, a full service global video news agency that provides real-time and archived visual news materials via a revolutionary delivery platform.

Larry King, a global broadcasting legend, launches two shows on RT America – Larry King Now and PoliticKing With Larry King, the latter being a new, exclusive project for RT.

In advance of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, RT launches Sochi Today, Sochi’s first English-language radio station.

RT implements a major revamping of its website, which includes an addition of a Russian-language news portal.

2012

Julian Assange, co-founder of Wikileaks, launches his interview series on RT while under house arrest in the UK. The Julian Assange Show sparks a global media firestorm for tackling of-the-moment subjects including the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and American interventionism with such high-profile guests as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab.

RT receives its second International Emmy nomination for its coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

UK’s BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) includes RT in its official weekly rankings, where RT consistently leads all other tracked international channels, including Al Jazeera English, in weekly viewership numbers.

RT hosts the runoff Third Party Candidates Debate in its Washington, DC studios ahead of the US Presidential Election. RT host Thom Hartmann moderates.

In March 2012 RT crew is mistakenly detained in Iraq during filming; in November, the Baghdad bureau is damaged in a bomb explosion.

Rusiya Al-Yaum’s Syrian bureau is damaged when a car bomb detonated in Damascus in March 2012. No RT staff is injured, but the two-part terrorist attack takes the lives of 27 people and wounds 100+ more.

RT offices in Gaza City are hit by an Israeli air strike on November 18. RT staff is uninjured but the missile attack, which targeted the media center, wounded several employees of other foreign channels.

RT wins two prizes at the PromaxBDA Global Excellence Awards 2012, including a bronze for RT’s “Occupy W@ll Street” app for Facebook.

RT’s Facebook following grows past 500,000 subscribers – more than any other Russian media outlet, and ahead of many of RT’s international competitors including CNBC, Sky News, Bloomberg, Deutsche Welle and Reuters.

All of RT’s channels begin worldwide broadcasting in HD in December 2012 from a new studio complex.

2011

RTDoc, RT’s documentary channel, begins its 24/7 English-language broadcast. Its critically acclaimed content, produced by RT’s in-house team, is available to viewers around the world. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev joined RT’s team in its studios for the channel launch.

RT on YouTube sets a new world record when it gets 500,000 million views on the video sharing platform – more than quadrupling its numbers in one year. RT also draws more than $500,000 in profits from its YouTube channel, something only very few YouTube channels have ever achieved.

RT’s footage of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami generate more than 20 million views and becomes the most watched news event video of 2011 on YouTube.

RT begins its intrepid coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests while they are still largely ignored or dismissed by the mainstream media. Within months, the New York-focused movement turns into a worldwide phenomenon.

A slew of studies by Kantar Media, Nielsen and TNS Canada show the fast growth of RT audience across the UK, US and Canada, where the channel often beats out most other international news channels.

RT presenter Bill Dod and the network’s then-deputy editor in chief Aleksey Nikolov are invited to the jury of the International Emmy Awards for the Current Affairs category.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States is engaged in an information war and is losing it to TV channels like Russia Today, China’s CCTV and Al Jazeera.

Libyan authorities jam the satellite signal of RT’s Rusiya al-Yaum in order to curtail the access to independent and unbiased coverage of events in the country and wider Middle East during months of political unrest.

2010

RT begins broadcasting from its own studio in Washington, DC. RT America goes on air during local prime time and focuses on domestic political, social and economic issues in the US. The first authored political show to appear on the channel at the time of the launch is The Alyona Show, hosted by Alyona Minkovski, who will be named to Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 in Media the following year.

RT becomes first Russian TV channel to be nominated for the prestigious Emmy International Television Awards, in the News category.

RT launches the ambitious QUESTION MORE advertising campaign in the UK and US. The campaign generates a heated media debate and wins an industry award in Britain. The ads are banned from the US airports.

Nielsen Research shows that RT’s Rusiya Al-Yaum is watched by more than 5 million people across Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – more than Deutsche Welle Arabic, France 24 Arabic and Chinese CCTV Arabic combined.

In the UK, RT becomes available via Freeview, a terrestrial system of digital broadcasting television, adding another 18 million customers. By the end of the year, RT’s monthly audience in the UK exceeds 2 million viewers, who are attracted to the network because of its break with the mainstream viewpoint, according to a study by Kantar Media.

RT’s reach in the United States doubles to 86 million and grows to 154 million viewers in India; the channel becomes available to viewers in New Zealand.

RT launches new website, rt.com, replacing russiatoday.com, the networks online portal since 2005. The site’s many new features include an “All about Russia” section, which offers up everything from overview of history to vacation-planning tips for the country.

RT’s news crew is detained by US police while filming a public protest in front of the Fort Benning military base, Georgia, despite complying with all the requirements of the police. The arrest is condemned by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Thom Hartmann, a leading American intellectual and a best-selling author, brings The Big Picture, his talk show, to RT.

Number of hotels where RT is available increases drastically over the course of one year. The guests of MARRIOTT, CROWNE PLAZA, HYATT, HILTON, SHERATON, RENAISSANCE and other premiere hotel chains can watch RT worldwide.

2009

The Spanish Channel, RT en Español, begins broadcasting from Moscow. Within its first year leaders of more than 10 Latin American countries give interviews to the channel, including the Presidents of Ecuador and Venezuela, Rafael Correa and Hugo Chavez. Today the channel has bureaus in Madrid, Miami, Los Angeles, Havana and Buenos Aires.

RT launches FreeVideo, Russia’s first English-language video agency, which gives users free online access to broadcast-quality RT footage. More than 15,000 TV channels and agencies from 185 countries, including CNN, Fox News, ABC News, AP, and Reuters, have now used the service.

President of the Republic of Yemen thanks RT’s Rusiya Al-Yaum channel, alongside Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, for their coverage of the Gaza War. The Al Shorouk media compound that houses several TV bureaus and press offices is hit by Israeli strikes.

A study by Synovate market research firm finds that more than 7 million people watch RT in 6 European countries, in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Serbia and Great Britain.

Nielsen’s study in the US shows that in the Washington, DC area (DMA) RT’s primetime audience surpasses that of Al Jazeera English, Deutsche Welle, France 24, Euronews and CCTV-9.

RT launches InoTV, an information portal that monitors daily TV news coverage on Russia from RT and more than 100 international TV channels and translates them into Russian, allowing Russian audience to see how their country is being talked about abroad.

RT begins broadcasting in Canada, reaching more than 5 million subscribers across all territories via Bell Canada, a major operator.

RT expands its Asia broadcasting with India and Hong Kong.

2008

RT leads the coverage of the conflict in South Ossetia. RT is the only international news network to report from Tskhinvali during the Russia-Georgia War of 2008 and the first to confirm atrocities committed by the Georgian military against the civilian population.

Several RT journalists are injured during the storming of the American Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia in February 2008.

RT is the first English-language news channel in more than 15 years to receive permission to shoot a documentary film in Burma (Myanmar).

A study by Nielsen Media Research shows that residents of New York prefer RT to BBC America and Deutsche Welle.

RT starts broadcasting on the new British satellite platform Freesat, reaching millions across the UK.

ROSCOSMOS – the Federal Space Agency of Russia – partners up with RT on a long-term information cooperation project. RT receives the status of Official Information Partner and broadcasts live the Soyuz spaceship takeoff from Baikonur space center.

By the end of the year RT is available in multiple countries across 5 continents.

2007

Rusiya Al-Yaum, RT’s Arabic channel goes live on air. The channel is available in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and beyond.

RT launches its YouTube Channel in June, and by November 2007 the channel makes the TOP 100 list of YouTube channels for the first time.

In August 2007, RT reports live from the North Pole – it is the first ever live TV broadcast from the spot.

A live New Year broadcast for thousands of viewers in Times Square in New York kicks off RT’s promo campaign.

RT becomes available via Time Warner Cable and Comcast, two major cable providers in the US, reaching millions of viewers in New York and New Jersey.

RT begins broadcasting in Italy, Belgium and Netherlands, expanding its European reach.

2006

BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting), the major UK and Ireland satellite platform, begins carrying RT in the United Kingdom. By 2010 Sky is bringing RT into 10 million homes in the UK.

2005

RT (Russia Today) begins its round-the-clock, English-language news broadcast from Moscow in December 2005. It is the first all-digital Russian TV network. More than 100 journalists report from around the world. At the age of 25, Margarita Simonyan becomes the youngest ever editor-in-chief of a major TV network.

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