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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputies Seek to Limit Sex on TV

Six United Russia deputies submitted legislation to the State Duma on Monday that would restrict erotic programming on television and ban television ads for phone sex and sex-themed cell phone messages.

The amendments to media and advertising laws are aimed at reducing the number of television shows "of an erotic character," primarily on MTV Russia, Muz-TV, Ren-TV, CTC and THT, Deputy Vladimir Medinsky said.

"An increasing number of various sex-related services, such as ads for erotic pictures for mobile phones, erotic SMS chats and phone sex, are distributed as a rule on teen and music channels," Medinsky said in an explanatory statement attached to the bill.

Medinsky could not be reached for comment, but his spokeswoman, Yulia Levchenko, said he had received a lot of complaints from the elderly demanding that sex-themed shows and ads be taken off the air.

Deputies of various political stripes have long complained about television programming.

Under the proposed amendments, advertising of sex-related services would be restricted to pay television and specialized erotic print media. The current media law allows erotic shows to be shown on national channels from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

"Thus, the advertising of sex-related services will be available to a significantly smaller number of viewers who purposefully choose these television shows and erotic magazines," Medinsky's statement said.

It said the amendments would be passed in the fall and come into force next year.

Ren-TV said it was too early to speculate on the consequences of the proposed changes.

"The amendments will not come up for a vote until October or November, and the ultimate list of things that will be banned is not yet clear," channel spokesman Anton Fetisov said.

Sex-related ads -- or ads with erotic elements, as Fetisov put it -- account for up to 10 percent of all commercials on Ren-TV.

As for erotic shows, they "are not crucial to the station's programming. If there is a law, we will find a way to replace them with something else," Fetisov said.