The Russian broadcaster CTC Media has acquired a controlling stake in a digital content producer in the first major acquisition deal of that kind involving a large Russian broadcaster. CTC Media’s move aimed at developing transmedia and digital content comes several months after the company’s stock plummeted following legislation restricting foreign media ownership in Russia.
On Monday, CTC Media, Russia’s sole publicly traded broadcaster, announced the acquisition of a 51 percent stake in CarambaTV for $2.4 million (148 million rubles).
“The acquisition of CarambaTV is a logical step within implementation of our strategy for developing digital media and transmedia,” Yuliana Slashcheva, general director of CTC Media, said in a press release. “We see opportunities for stepping up monetization of existing channels thanks to consolidation of traffic and content exchange between our resources and resources of CarambaTV.”
CarambaTV produces digital content and publishes it on Carambatv.ru and 100500.tv, with its videos generating about 20 million views a month.
CTC Media suffered a major blow last year when a law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media companies to 20 percent stakes was adopted and scheduled to come into force as of January 1, 2016. Sweden’s Modern Times Group (MTG) owns 38 percent in CTC Media, which runs, among other assets, the free-to-air networks CTC, Domashni and Perets. The news led to a substantial decline in the value of CTC Media’s stock. Later MTG said it won’t pull out of CTC Media even though it will have to reduce its share in the company.