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Russia shuts down its MTV

Instead of MTV Russia the Russian media company will launch a new entertainment channel "Pyatnitsa" (Friday)

Russia shuts down its MTV
Last Update: 07 December 2012, 14:35

Profmedia is shutting down one of the most popular TV channels in the country – Russian MTV. It will be replaced by a new entertainment channel called Pyatnitsa (Friday).

Profmeida holds the license for the MTV brand and content from Viacom Media Networks, and has decided it will not prolong the five-year contract that expires in May 2013.

Instead the Russian media company will launch the new entertainment channel on the same frequency. According to Vedomosti daily newspaper over the past few days Profmedia has presented the new channel’s concept to advertisers. The new channel is planned to be launched on June 1, 2013.

MTV came onto Russian screens in 1998. Profmedia has owned the channel since 2007. The policy of the channel changed after producing more entertainment shows related to sex and relationships, fashion and beauty.

Music critic Vytcheslav Gusev told Business FM that a change of concept should be expected on the new channel.

“Both MTV and MUZ-TV are for boys and girls aged 15 to 16. They have switched to other entertainment channels that show comedy programs,” Gusev explains. “So [music channels] are figuring out how to hold and attract their viewers. Hence the switch from a solely musical format to sitcoms and entertainment shows. If we look at the west, they have done the same thing long ago,” he said.

The head of the National Research Center of Radio and Television Aleksey Samokhvalov thinks the new channel is a very expensive project and will require several millions of dollars of investment while the risks are still very high.

“Economically this move is hardly justified, especially considering the fact that it’s hard to predict what will be popular with the audience, and what anybody will watch,” Samokhvalov said. “The title of the new channel will also provoke mocking: Black Friday. I also can’t see any financial implications here, apart from possible rise in the cost of the content.”

MTV is among the top 20 most popular TV channels in Russia.


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