Disney Channel's Market Share Falls in Russia

The only international television brand available in Russia as a free-to-air channel saw its audience numbers slip in 2013.

MOSCOW -- In 2013, Disney Channel Russia saw a noticeable decline in its audience share, which plummeted from 4.3 percent to 3.2 percent for the 6-44 age group and from 3.2 percent to 2.3 percent for the 10-45 age group, according to TNS Global Russia.

It came as the sharpest decline among all local entertainment networks, TNS data show. During the same period, for instance, the local entertainment network CTC achieved an increase in its share from 10.7 percent to 11 percent in the 10-45 age group.

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A spokesperson for Disney Channel Russia, which is the only major international television brand available in Russia as a free-to-air channel, declined to comment on the station's audience share.

Disney Channel arrived in Russia in 2011, although plans to enter the local TV market had been around almost since Disney opened its Moscow office in 2006.

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Disney Channel launched in Russia by acquiring a 49 percent share in the local station Seven TV, available to more than three quarters of Russian households, and rebranding it as the Disney Channel.

In addition to Disney Channel, the Hollywood major's Russian office operates the local co-owned distributor Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing and produces features for the local market. In late 2013, Russian media reported that Disney was preparing to launch Disney Store, Disney Play and Disney Style retail outlets in the country, but the company later denied that.