Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) and ProfMedia
will be dissolving their partnership for MTV Russia at the end of May 2013,
VIMN has confirmed.
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
"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 â€˜the 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 â€˜is 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."