Russia's TNT Inks Online Subscription Film Deal With Hollywood Majors

NOW.ru licenses product from Sony Pictures, Walt Disney, Warner TV, MTV, others.

 

MOSCOW -- Russian TV channel TNT has launched an online subscription-based film service, offering its home-produced content as well as films and TV series licensed by Hollywood majors.

For a flat monthly fee of 499 Roubles ($17.60), a user of NOW.ru can watch any content from its 30,000 hour library.

Katerina Mironova, deputy general director of NOW.ru, told The Hollywood Reporter that the project aims to become the Russian Internet’s biggest legitimate online film service in terms of the size of the audience. According to Mironova, the use of the subscription model is “revolutionary” in the Russian segment of the Internet, so there is no competition at the moment.

“Other online video services mostly use the ad-supported model and therefore they are limited in their offer of top-level imported content,” she said, adding that currently, local films and TV series account for no more than 40 percent of the catalogue of NOW.ru.

The new online video service has licensing agreements with Sony Pictures, Walt Disney, Warner TV, MTV Networks BV, ВВС and Playboy Enterprises.

Mironova said she could not disclose the details of the deals, but each of them involves “hundreds of hours of films and TV series.” She added that more deals are currently under negotiation, and at least two could be announced in the near future.

TNT wouldn’t give the exact figure of investment in the project. But Roman Petrenko, the channel’s general director, recently told the business daily Kommersant that so far the station has spent “less than $10 million” on NOW.ru. “Further investment will depend on various factors, mainly on how many people we’ll be able to attract,” he added.

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