Russian DTH service Raduga TV, part-owned by European broadcast giant Modern Times Group (MTG), is set to close this month after failing to be granted the required licences by regulators.
The platform, launched in February 2009, offers Russian channels and localised versions of international networks such as Discovery Channel and National Geographic, as well as Viasat History and TV1000 Russian Kino, according to MTG’s website.
MTG took a 50% stake in Raduga Holdings, which in turn owns Raduga TV operator DalGeoCom, in February 2010 from Russia’s Continental Media. It still holds the remaining 50% of the firm.
Irina Gofman, MTG’s exec VP and CEO for Russia, CIS and pay TV emerging markets, said: “Over the past year Raduga has worked very hard exploring all options for obtaining the right licence, which, despite its efforts, has not been granted. We therefore have no choice but to close down the operations.”
The service will end on December 5th and MTG says it is in the process of moving subscribers to another satellite operator.
MTG also revealed it is planning to launch five new HD channels in Russia through its Viasat division in 2015, with details to follow.
Raduga’s imminent exit from the Russian TV market follows a series of regulatory changes to the country’s media laws that limits foreign ownership in Russian media companies to 20%.
Modern Times Group (MTG) is looking to sell its stake in the DTH platform Raduga TV to some local players like MTS which launched its own DTH platform recently, now that President Putin has signed off controversial legislation.
According to data produced by iKS Consulting, Raduga TV was the fourth largest DTH platform in Russia as of Q2 this year.