New doc channel for Russia

Russia will shortly have its own documentary channel, competing directly with the likes of Discovery and National Geographic.

Kommersant reports that the owners of the satellite-delivered music channel Bridge TV, who include the Siberian oil company Burnefetegaz, will launch a channel named Russian Travel Guide (RTG TV) this April.

Start up costs of the service will be $40 million (31.1 million), $15 million of which has already been spent on infrastructure and the production of 80 hours of content.

RTG TV, which will broadcast six hour blocks, repeated four times a day, will be available for distribution at R4 (0.09) a month for Russian operators and 0.1 a month for foreign companies.

It will also be funded by advertising and aim to break even by 2013.