Russia’s MTS has launched a major national advertising campaign to promote its DTH platform, which was officially launched last November.

According to AKTR and Comnews, it is likely to spend up to R1 billion (€14.5 million) on promoting the service, which MTS spokesman Dmitry Solodovnikov says the company aims to make one of the largest satellite TV operators in Russia within the next three years.

However, industry sources point out that pay-TV penetration is already high in Russia and its growth is slowing. The current 70% figure is unlikely to exceed 75-78%, meaning that pay-TV operators can realistically hope to secure an additional 4.5 million customers.

What is more, MTS will have to focus more on rural parts of the country, given that the take-up of IPTV services is growing the fastest in cities.

MTS’s DTH service is distributed by the ABS-2 satellite, which covers 95% of the populated part of Russia and reaches 99% of the population.

It offers viewers over 130 TV, some in HD, and cost as little as R1,200 a year to receive.