Published: 13.30 Europe/London, June 23, 2011

Russia Today is launching RTDoc, a TV channel featuring documentaries about Russia, broadcasting 24/7 in English, and available as a free-to-air channel on Eutelsat Hot Bird.

The bulk of RTDoc programming will consist of documentaries about Russia, produced in-house by RT. Among them films that have won international prizes such as Media Excellence and New York Festivals Awards.

“Cable operators welcome documentary content in their networks because it remains invariably popular with audiences. Viewers tire of dynamic news streams and switch to ethnographic and educational formats. We’re launching a new documentary channel about Russia exactly for the purpose of giving the viewer this alternative,” said Margarita Simonyan, RT editor-in-chief, in a statement.

Russia Today said strong interest has been shown by cable operators all over the world. RTDoc’s reach covers network subscribers in Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Bulgaria. In the US and Canada, more than a million viewers can watch RTDoc on the IPTV Roku over-the-top servioice. Viewers can also watch RTDoc online at the RTD.RT.COM.

The new channel will feature a documentary series on Russian cities (Discovering Russia), customs and traditions of the peoples of Russia (Faces of Russia), science and technology (Technology Update) as well as a series on the environment (Meeting with Nature).

Historical Faces explores the history of Russia and Culture Fair will broadcast films on culture, art and fashion. Inter-program section will diversify the content. A Little Bit of Russian will help English speaking viewers learn the basics of the Russian language. RT correspondents, editors and presenters will play the role of teachers.