Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (‘MTG’ or ‘the Group’), the international entertainment broadcasting group, today announced that Viasat Broadcasting will launch three new High Definition (HD) pay-TV movie channels, TV1000 Premium HD,TV1000 Megahit HD and TV1000 Comedy HD, in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries in October 2012. The channels will primarily feature content from four major Hollywood studios, including Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros, with whom the Group has signed multi-year exclusive pay-TV and online movie licensing agreements for the same territories.
Premium tier channel TV1000 Premium HD will focus on first run premieres of award winning films from the Hollywood studios and independent local distributors, while TV1000 Megahit HD will feature first run premieres of the latest blockbuster titles from Hollywood and Russia. TV1000 Comedy HD will be a dedicated US comedy movie channel, alongside the current channels TV1000 East, TV1000 Russian Kino and TV1000 Action East. All three channels will also include high quality library titles, and will be broadcast 24 hours a day in HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound with non-Russian language titles being dubbed into Russian.
The new channels will be made available on cable, satellite, IPTV and DTT networks and add to MTG’s existing pay-TV channel offering of TV1000 East, TV1000 Russian Kino TV1000 Action East, Viasat Explorer, Viasat History, Viasat Nature, Viasat Nature HD, Viasat History HD and Viasat Sport. TV1000 East and TV1000 Russian Kino are Russia’s two most watched pay-TV channels.
The additional premium content from the Hollywood studios will also be available through MTG’s Viaplay online pay-TV service in Russia, which was launched earlier this year and is accessible to subscribers via their broadband internet connections.
Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution’s portfolio of movies includes first-run titles such as Rise of the Planet of The Apes, X-Men First Class and the Academy Award winning title The Descendants starring George Clooney.
Sony Pictures Television’s portfolio of movies includes first-run titles such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Moneyball, as well as recent theatrical releases such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall and Men in Black 3.
Warner Bros.’ portfolio of movies includes first-run titles such as Hangover 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, as well as recent theatrical releases such as Rock of Ages, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Dark Knight Rises.
The licence agreements signed for the new channels means that subscribers can access premium high-quality movies as close to their box office release as possible for a number of years.
Jørgen Madsen, President and CEO of MTG, commented: “We will now offer an unrivalled channel portfolio across the region, comprising six movie channels, five documentary channels and a sports channel. Our channels offer the strongest movie content and very best local and international entertainment content to Russian viewers and will feature content from four out of six major Hollywood studios.”
”The launch of the three new HD channels and the signing of new long term content agreements with the distributors of some of the world’s leading feature length entertainment programming demonstrates our commitment to expanding in the region and our belief in the future growth of the Russian, Ukrainian and CIS pay-TV markets.”