MTV Networks Int'l extends Russian deal

Expands partnership to include digital media, events

LONDON -- MTV Networks International and ProfMedia's subsidiary Energia TV unwrapped a multi-year agreement Wednesday giving Energia TV the rights to continue broadcasting a free-to-air, localized MTV service across the Russian Federation.

MTV Russia debuted September 1998 and is a 24-hour, free-to-air service as a part of MTVNI's Emerging Markets group. The channel broadcasts daily to 40 million TV households, nearly 70% of the Russian population, and is aimed at viewers between 11-34 years old.

In addition to television rights, MTVNI grants Energia TV ancillary rights to the MTV brand in Russia including online, mobile and events in an attempt to expand on the existing licensing agreement between the two companies.

Energia TV also garners the right to broadcast all MTV live events such as the MTV Movie Awards and the MTV EMAs and secures access to the MTVNI program portfolio including series such as "Pimp My Ride," "Room Raiders" and "Cribs."

The agreement is fueled by the hunger for untapped youth audiences.

Bhavneet Singh, managing director and exec vp, emerging markets, MTVNI said: "With a population of nearly 150 million people and an ever-increasing youth population of nearly 50 million, Russia continues to be a hugely important market for MTVNI to grow and develop."

Yulia Solovyova, exec vp of ProfMedia said: "MTV Russia is the longest standing licensee-operated MTV service and we're proud to be working with MTVNI to further grow and expand our partnership to include both digital media and events. Russian youth are incredibly savvy when it comes to technology and we want to ensure we remain ahead of the curve and offer our audiences multiple ways to interact with their favorite brand."