Viasat heads to Russia with new pay-TV channel package, NBCU licensing agreement

Editor | 03-12-2012

Modern Times Group’s Viasat Broadcasting division is making a big play in Russia with a new HD pay-TV channel in partnership with Rostelecom and a new local licensing agreement with NBCUniversal.
The launch of the Viasat Premium HD package with Rostelecom marks the first time that Viasat has made a complete pay-TV channel package available in Russia. Subscribers toRostelecom’s interactive TV will have access to the Viasat Premium HD package which comprises two new premium HD movie channels (TV1000 Premium HD and TV1000 Megahit HD), a new dedicated comedy channel (TV1000 Comedy HD) and two Viasat HD documentary channels (Viasat History HD and Viasat Nature HD).
Commenting on the expansion, Irina Gofman, executive vice president of Russian & CIS and Pay-TV Emerging Markets for Viasat Broadcasting, said: “We are delighted to offer the Viasat Premium HD channel package to Rostelecom’s Interactive pay-TV subscribers. We have successfully cooperated with Rostelecom for several years in terms of our basic tier channel portfolio. There is increasing demand for premium HD programming in Russia, and we are confident that the range of channels with exclusive Hollywood hit movies in crystal clear HD picture and Dolby Digital sound quality will be appreciated by viewers.”
All of the HD movie channels are also available on Viasat’s satellite platform in Ukraine and will feature exclusive content from four major Hollywood studios: Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros and NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, with whom Viasat has signed multi-year licensing agreements.
Under the terms of this deal, Viasat will have pay-TV rights in Russia, Ukraine and the other CIS countries to first-run and library NBCUniversal films. The content will be broadcast on MTG’s TV1000 Premium HD and TV1000 Megahit HD premium movie channels across the region, and be made available as subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) content on MTG’s Viaplay online pay-TV service in Russia.
Added Gofman: “NBCUniversal has a great track record of outstanding movies and franchises. We now have multi-year movie licence agreements with four out of the big six Hollywood studios for our content offering on the TV1000 Premium HD and TV1000 Megahit HD movie channels, and our Viaplay SVOD service. This content offering is unrivalled in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS.”