Scandinavian TV Giant to Launch Channels in Turkey

Modern Times Group has struck multiyear carriage deals for a history, a nature and a science network in the fast-growing TV market.

LONDON – Scandinavian TV giant Modern Times Group said Tuesday that it is for the first time bringing its channels to the fast-growing Turkish market.

MTG’s factual pay TV channels Viasat History HD, Viasat Nature HD and Viasat Explorer will become available to viewers in Turkey as of the beginning of 2014 under a multiyear distribution deal with Turksat Satellite Communication and Cable TV Operation.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The channels will air with Turkish voiceovers on the premium tier of the pay TV distributor's digital cable TV service Teledunya.

Viasat History is focused on history programming and Viasat Nature on nature documentaries, while Viasat Explorer is a male-skewing network featuring character-driven science, engineering and auto content.

Said Irina Gofman, MTG executive vp and CEO of Russia & CIS and pay TV emerging markets: “Turkey sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is the world’s 17th largest economy and has a population of more than 80 million people. TV and video consumption are also growing rapidly in the country, and we will bring Turkish viewers a rich and varied range of factual TV entertainment experiences."

She added: "We look forward to building a long and successful partnership with Turksat."

Jorgen Madsen Lindemann, president and CEO of MTG, said: “Making our products available to more and more customers is what MTG is all about. That is why we have rapidly expanded our channel footprint across 37 markets, and now is the right time for us to take a first step into this exciting 38th market."

Said Fatih Simsek, Turksat marketing, sales & content director: "There is great interest in history-themed channels and a high level of customer demand for such content. Viasat History HD will certainly fill this gap, and we are confident that our customers will enjoy watching the channel. Viasat Nature HD and Viasat Explorer will also complement the existing channel offering on our platform.”

MTG operates free TV channels, pay TV networks, and radio and content production businesses with a focus on Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The firm also is the largest shareholder in Russia's CTC Media, a big independent broadcaster.

Twitter: @georgszalai