Russian TV Station TNT Acquires Content Producer

TNT reportedly paid $337.5 million for a 75% stake in Comedy Club Production.

MOSCOW – The major Russian TV channel TNT has acquired a 75 percent stake in the TV content and film production company Comedy Club Production (CCP).

TNT would not officially comment on the acquisition, but the business daily Kommersant quoted the station’s general director Roman Petrenko as saying that that the deal has been struck. According to the report, the acquisition of 75 percent minus one share in CCP set the TV station back $337.5 million. That puts the value of the entire company at $450 million, an amount comparable with market values of Russian free-to-air television stations.

“The legal side of the deal is complicated,” Artur Dzhanibekyan, CCP’s founder and general producer, was quoted as saying by the RBC Daily newspaper. “TNT has put forward several important and long-term conditions and tasks, so we are set to work together a lot and for a long time.”

TNT’s move apparently comes as an attempt to diversify revenue sources in a situation when free-to-air television is losing viewers.

Formed in 2007, CCP has produced several top-rating shows including the Russian version of Comedy Club, Nasha Russia, the controversial reality show Dom-2 and the television series Interny and Univer, and TNT has heavily relied on it as a content producer.

CCP also runs the satellite station Comedy TV and has produced several movies, which made the lists of local box office champions. Three parts of the franchise Samy Luchshi Film (The Best Movie Ever) were released in 2007, 2009 and 2011, respectively, and Nasha Russia. Yaytsa Sudby (Our Russia. The Eggs of Fortune) came out in 2010.