Turner Plans a TV Station in Moscow : Broadcasting: CNN’s parent seeks Russian approval of a joint venture with a local company.
Turner Broadcasting System Inc. announced plans Wednesday to build the first independent television station in Moscow in cooperation with a Russian company.
The joint venture must compete with other groups for a license to use Channel 6, the last VHF frequency available in Moscow. And the plan is contingent on approval by the boards of TBS and its partner, Moscow Independent Broadcasting Co.
“The principle of independent television is an important development for our country,” said Eduard Sagalaev, president of MIBC and former director of the state-owned Ostankino Television Co. “We are confident that, in a strong competition, our ideas, programs and other plans will prevail.”
Sagalaev would be general director of the venture. Sidney Pike is representing Atlanta-based Turner, parent company of Cable News Network.
MIBC and Turner have been broadcasting two hours of CNN International, translated into Russian, on Channel 6 daily since May, using an interim license granted by the government. Russian authorities have indicated that they plan to award a permanent license within four months.
Programming on the proposed channel would include classic films, National Geographic and Audubon series, entertainment, sports and children’s programs, as well as CNN, Pike said. Most would be translated into Russian.
“This will not be an American channel,” Pike said. “It will be primarily Russian, and we anticipate that the revenues earned will help the development of Russian programming significantly.”
The channel would be broadcast over the air, with revenue coming from advertising, Pike said.