Viacom, ProfMedia to End MTV Russia Partnership
Russian partner will shutter MTV Russia on June 1, 2013
By George Winslow -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/11/2012 7:21:57 PM
While VIMN is exploring other options for MTV Russia, the move means that the Russian company ProfMedia will be shutting down the channel on June 1, 2013, and replacing it with a new general entertainment channel called Friday. It will target a 14-44 year old demo.
ProfMedia has owned the Russian license for the brand MTV since 2007.
"Russia remains a critically important market to VIMN, and we're currently exploring many opportunities for MTV," VIMN noted in a statement emailed to B&C. "Russian fans of the brand will continue to have access to MTV's four music channels (MTV Hits, MTV Dance, MTV Rocks, MTV HD) that are operated by VIMN in Russia, in addition to Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy."
The Moscow Times has reported that ProfMedia president Nikolai Kartozia explained the decision to shut MTV Russia to the Russian-language business publication Kommersant.
In the Dec. 10 Kommersant interview, "Kartozia explained the decision to close the station by saying that MTV Russia had ceased to be âthe music channel that we all once loved,'" The Moscow Times reported. "MTV Russia's ratings have dropped off because of the growing popularity of listening to music online, he said, adding that the channel âis no longer effective.'"
The VIMN statement issued on the subject noted, however, "the two companies have enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration since 2007, most recently celebrating year-on-year ratings gains for MTV in 2012."
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