RT reaches for the Sky

Editor | 15-01-2013

BSkyB has now begun to carry the RT global international news network in high definition, a further part of the latter's strategic move to HD for English-language services.

Coming just weeks after the Russian channel moved to new state-of-the-art studios in Moscow, RT's HD play with the UK's largest pay-TV provider is part of a plan to tap into what it believes is a demand for an alternative news voice in the market.

RT claims to have been be the third most watched news channel overall in the UK in the third quarter of 2012, according to the BARB Quarterly Reach Report- Quarter 3 2012, reaching 2.5 million viewers out of a global audience of 550 million. Building its case, RT cites a Kantar Media survey showing that UK viewers preferred RT to rivals due to its due to its "different take on news from mainstream media."

Commenting on the commencement of services with BskyB, Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor in chief, said: "The switch to HD is an important step for our network, as HD delivery is not yet offered by many other major international news channels. It's now up to the satellite and cable TV service providers to make the HD signal available to the viewers ... we're very happy that thanks to BSkyB our UK audience can now enjoy the best RT programming in HD so soon after we completed the switch."