The Russian DTH platform Orion Express has set itself the goal of securing at least 500,000 more subscribers and increasing ARPU among its existing customers by 15% within a year.

To that effect, says Kommersant, it has appointed Sergei Stavropoltsev, until recently DG of its main rival Tricolor TV, as its new commercial director.

Stavropoltsev was at Tricolor TV from 2010 until July this year, when he became deputy DG of Rikor TV.

The latter is ceasing operations and around 40,000 of its customers will move over to Orion Express at the beginning of November.

Orion Express currently has a total of 2.4 million subscribers in Russia to its three services – Telekarta, Kontinent TV and Orient Express.

It is the country’s fifth largest pay-TV company with a 6% market share, behind NSK (29%), Rostelecom (21%), MTS and ER-Telecom (7% each).