Gazprom Media is looking into the possibility of entering into a recently announced joint venture between RTR and Rostelecom to create non-terrestrial TV channels.

According to Kommersant, it would do so through a company named Red Media, which it acquired in June this year and already has a portfolio of channels, the total audience of which amounts to around 2.7 million people.

Another alternative being considered by Gazprom Media would be the sale of Red Media to the joint venture in return for a stake in the latter.

The first stage of the formation of the joint venture between RTR and Rostelecom will see the latter acquire a 26% stake in Digital TV (DTV), which operates 12 RTR niche channels. DTV, in turn, will buy 100% of NKS Media, which operates five other channels. The deals have been approved by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) but have yet to be finalised.

This comes against the backdrop of new legislation that will ban advertising on non-FTA channels from the beginning of 2015, with their operators only being allowed revenues from subscription fees.