MTV doubts raised in Russia
July 26, 2012 09.03 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Changes are afoot in the music channel business in Russia, with the future of MTV being put in doubt.

Kommersant reports that Muz TV, which has been on air since 1996, will be rebranded ‘Yu’ this autumn, though its target audience – viewers aged 11-34 – and most of the programming will remain the same. Muz TV, along with the channel Disney (formerly known as Seven), are both operated by the YUTV holding company and it has indicated that it will retain the Muz TV brand.

It will be used for a new music-based cable channel and the holding is currently in negotiations with operators.

Muz TV has until now faced strong competition from the Russian version of MTV, which is operated by the ProfMedia group.

The Viacom-backed service has seen its audience share gradually fall over the last few years, though it grew in H1 this year to a still relatively modest 1.67%, compared to Muz TV’s 2.21%, according to data produced by TNS.

ProfMedia is combining MTV and its other two channels TV-3 and 2×2 into a single holding this month and it may abandon the MTV brand next year.