Problems mount for Ukrainian DTH platform
By Chris Dziadul
Published: August 27, 2010 08.18 Europe/London

The future of the Ukrainian DTH platform Poverkhnost Plus is looking increasingly doubtful amid reports that it has debts of $20 million (€15.73 million).

According to Satkurier, Istil Group, which is headed by Mohammad Zahoor, sold its 55% stake in the platform to the other owner Viktor Samojlenko on July 9 for an undisclosed fee.

Istil Group now claims Poverkhnost Plus has debts of $20 million, whereas Samojlenko insists they are much smaller.

Furthermore, the independent expert Aleksandr Glushenko believes the platform only has 5,000 legitimate subscribers, with a further 100,000 receiving the service illegally.

Earlier this month, Poverkhnost Plus went off the air amid reports it would be sold.

The platform, which was launched in May 2008, is distributed by Eutelsat W4 at 36 degrees East and operates in a DTH market also served by Viasat Ukraine, MYtv and Russia’s NTV-Plus.