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Viacom Launches Paramount Channel in Russia, Hungary

Bob Bakish
Bob Bakish, CEO of Viacom International Media Networks

The company previously brought the channel to Spain and France and plans to roll it out in additional international markets.

MOSCOW – Viacom's Viacom International Media Networks unit has launched its Paramount Channel in Russia and Hungary as the entertainment conglomerate continues to roll out the film network internationally.

The Paramount Channel had its world premiere in Spain in early 2012. In 2013, Paramount Channel was launched in France.

We're well into double digits,” VIMN CEO Robert Bakish told THR at the time of the Spanish launch, answering the question of how many more international Paramount Channels were envisaged over the next three years. “We're looking at other markets. There's great interest.”

The Paramount Channel offers select films from the library of Viacom unit Paramount Pictures, along with other movie fare.

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In Russia, VIMN has struck a deal with Rostelecom, the country’s largest cable TV operator. The Russian-language version of the Paramount Channel became available as of Tuesday to Rostelecom's Interactive TV subscribers as part of the company's “Movie” and “Maximum” TV packages. Rostelecom viewers will also be able to watch the channel's HD version.

“I have no doubts that Rostelecom's cutting-edge platform technology and partnership with the world-famous studio Paramount Pictures will help Paramount Channel to become a favorite station for cinema lovers in Russia,” said Yelena Balmont, VIMN general director for Russia, CIS, Ukraine and the Baltics.

Andrei Golovantsev, Rostelecom's executive director for media assets, added that the company took part in tailoring the channel to the needs of Russian viewers, making sure that the proportion of movies from various periods is right for the market.

In Hungary, VIMN signed a distribution agreement with affiliate partners Tarr Kft., PR Telekom, Invitel and Magyar Telekom to launch a localized version of Paramount Channel. It became available on Friday, according to Viacom.