MTV Russia Could Go Off The Air (Report)
MOSCOW – MTV Russia could go off the air as of next year, according to a report in the Russian business daily Kommersant.
The report quoted unnamed sources in the Russian television industry as saying that the group ProfMedia, which has controlled MTV Russia since 2007, is likely to abandon the MTV brand as of next year. Kommersant estimated the license fee, which ProfMedia paid to Viacom in 2011 at 101 million roubles ($3.3 million).
A spokesperson for MTV Russia refused to comment on the situation. Viacom and ProfMedia have not responded to requests for comment.
MTV Russia was launched in 1998 by Boris Zosimov, who sold the channel to Viacom in 2002. Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, MTV Russia was one of the most popular entertainment TV channels in the country. But the arrival of other stations, targeting similar audiences, such as TNT and CTC, coupled with the general decline of audience interest in music television, made the channel’s share shrink. In 2011, MTV Russia’s audience share stood at 1.6%, compared with 2.2% the year before, according to the research company TNS.
ProfMedia also controls the film producer Central Partnership, the TV channels 2x2, focused on cartoons, and TV3, centered on features, television series and documentaries.