Entertainment Channel 'Pyatnitsa' to Debut in Russia in Former MTV Slot

The new channel will feature sitcoms and sketch comedy programming, as well as an animated show modeled on "The Simpsons."

Pyatnitsa, a new national free-to-air entertainment channel, is to be launched in Russia on June 1 on the frequency previously occupied by MTV Russia.

The group ProfMedia TV, which also runs the cartoon channel 2x2 and fantasy channel TV3, said last year it was not going to extend the license for MTV’s Russian version. 

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ProfMedia TV said the format of a music channel was no longer vital at a time when people mostly watch music videos online, while the company didn’t want to go ahead with broadcasting a mostly non-music channel under the well-known international brand. Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), however, announced this week that it will re-launch MTV Russia in October on its own channel.

Pyatnitsa (which means 'Friday' in Russian) is to target a broad 14 to 44 year-old demographic, focusing on light entertainment programming. 

“The station won’t broadcast any trash, crime or depressive social issues stuff,” Nikolai Kartoziya, president of ProfMedia TV, said in an interview earlier this month. “This is a channel of [a positive] mood.”

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The new channel plans to produce about 90 percent of its content, including sitcoms and sketch comedy, and plans to premiere 44 shows over the course of its inaugural season. Among the most anticipated new shows are animated TV series along the lines of The Simpsons and Futurama, but tailored to “Russian attitudes and mentality.”

The investment in new channel is to be 1.46 billion rubles ($46.3 million) over the first two years. The other major national channels in the entertainment segment are TNT, CTC and Perets.