AMC Channel to Launch in Russia, Replacing MGM

Halt and Catch Fire Mackenzie Davis Lee Pace - H 2014

'Halt and Catch Fire' and 'The Divide' are to have their exclusive premieres this month.

AMC Networks International is to launch AMC in Russia and other former Soviet republics this month with premieres of its exclusive drama series, including Halt and Catch Fire and The Divide.

AMC is to replace the SD feed of the movie channel MGM, which has been available in Russia since 2005, while the HD feed will continue broadcasting classic Hollywood films from the MGM library.

"We're excited to bring the AMC brand to Russia and CIS, Ukraine and the Baltics as part of our global AMC distribution strategy," read a statement from Louise Cottrell, vp affiliate sales for AMC Networks International Zone.

"With a strong selection of first run, quality shows from AMC being added to the channel with associated VOD and TV Everywhere rights as well as fantastic new movie titles throughout the schedule, the brand will bring quality content to our operators throughout the territory," she added.

Subscribers to AMC are to get exclusive access to AMC Studios Original series, while the channel will also feature movies from the world's biggest film libraries, including Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The English Patient and Cop Land.

AMC is not going to be affected by the recently adopted Russian law, which limits foreign ownership of media companies to 20-percent stakes, as the Russian broadcasting license is owned by a local partner, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported.

According to the audience counter TNS Russia, MGM's average monthly reach declined in the first quarter of 2015 to 1.9 million people from 4.1 million in the same period of last year.