Russian pay-DTT prospect concerns
By Chris Dziadul
April 5, 2012 11.20 Europe/London

The Russian cable association (AKTR) has sent a letter to president-elect Vladimir Putin expressing its concerns about the possibility of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS) creating a state-funded pay-DTT operation.

According to Vedomosti, RTRS has taken the first steps in this direction by planning to adopt a conditional access system.

This, in the view of AKTR, would eventually require a considerable increase in the digitisation budget for 2009-15, which has been set at R123.6 billion (€3.2 billion), of which R74.4 billion will come from federal funds.

Russia’s pay-TV market is close to saturation, with 50% of households already receiving services as of last year, and AKTR’s fears are shared by MTS, one of the country’s leading providers of pay-TV services.