3D/HD ups and downs in Russia
By Chris Dziadul
Published: July 1, 2010 08.12 Europe/London

Russia is making good progress in the introduction of 3D while at the same time falling behind in the take-up of HD services.

The DTH platform NTV-Plus says that it will broadcast no fewer than seven matches from the closing stages of this year’s World Cup in 3D, starting with the quarter finals on July 2 and 3. The quarter finals will be shown in the October cinema in Moscow and the remaining matches in six cinemas forming part of the Karo Film network, again in Moscow. Tickets will cost from R900 (€23.5) up to R1,500, in the latter instance for the final.

NTV-Plus broadcast the Champions League final in 3D in May and plans to launch a channel in the format.

In the meantime, AKTR and RBC report that despite the widespread deployment of HD-ready sets in Russia, only around 60-70,000 viewers pay to watch HD channels.

In the case of the Moscow-based cable operator Akado, around a third of its digital subscribers have HD-ready sets, while only 14,000 watch HD channels. However, take-up is being driven by sport, with the World Cup coverage playing a significant role.