Plug pulled on Raduga TV in Russia
| 02 December 2014
In the latest development of the change in Russian broadcasting law that has seen foreign stations closed down, digital satellite TV platform Raduga TV is to stop transmission on 5 December.
Raduga TV launched in February 2009 and has offered a wide range of Russian and international channels all across Russia. The news that the digital TV platform had not been granted the required broadcasting licence from the local media regulator was confirmed by Scandinavian pay-TV firm Modern Times Group (MTG) which has held a 50% share in the station since 2010.
Anticipating trouble ahead, the value of MTG's participation in Raduga Holdings was written down 100% in February 2014, and accordingly MTG's Q4 2013 results included a SEK 147 million non-cash and non-recurring impairment charge in the Group's operating income. The decision was based on the on-going uncertainty and lack of visibility surrounding the licensing status and requirements for Raduga TV.
The adjustment in satellite subscriber numbers for pay-TV in MTG's emerging markets will be accounted for in MTG's 2014 Q4 results. "This has been a very difficult decision taken with the other shareholder, given the impact it will have on employees, customers, suppliers, and all of the other stakeholders of the business," said Irina Gofman, MTG's EVP/CEO of Russia & CIS and pay-TV emerging markets. "Over the past year Raduga has worked very hard exploring all options for obtaining the right licence, which despite their efforts has not been granted. We therefore have no choice but to close down the operations."
Undeterred, MTG assured that the decision does not affect its Viasat satellite pay-TV channel business, and that it would continue to enhance its content and technology, launching five new HDTV channels in 2015.