DTT to take off across Russia

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 05-12-2011

Following a successful implementation phase, digital terrestrial television is set to flourish in the Russian Federation according to a new report by the European Audiovisual Observatory.

In “Television and on-demand services in the Russian Federation”, the observatory looks how DTT services will roll out in advance of the deadline for the analogue switch off which is set for 2015.
The new network’s objectives are to provide all of the Russian population with multichannel broadcasting with the guaranteed provision of nationwide public television programmes of appropriate quality, as well as improving the operational efficiency of broadcasting.
The construction of the new network had been given a planned programme budget is 127 billion Roubles, approximately $3.8 billion, and about 60 billion RUB will be dedicated to the construction of DTT including the modernisation of the Russian TV and radio broadcasting network (RTRN) such as replacement of some existing antenna mast structures and the construction of new ones, replacement of transmitters with those suitable for digital broadcasting.
According to the research carried out by J’Son and Partners, 32% of Russian households currently subscribe to a pay-TV offer in 2011 and this level should reach 42% in 2015. The authors say that development of pay-TV is mainly due to the activity of Russian satellite television operators such as Tricolor TV who offer a low subscription price, with large and diversified packages. The country’s IPTV players are trying to enlarge its subscriber base while maintaining high prices for the access to the content yet by the first half of 2011 only 0.7 million households, 4% of the whole pay-TV base, had an IPTV service.
Looking to the future the report suggests that difficulties in the acquisition of licence rights to the content, the necessity for a consumer to make a double payment are making VOD services uncompetitive at the moment. Further pressure is coming from increasing amounts of over-the-top (OTT) offers.