International entertainment group MTG has announced that Russian digital satellite TV platform Raduga TV will cease broadcasting on 5 December 2014, as it has not been granted the required broadcasting licence from the local media regulator. MTG will continue to enhance the content and technology of its Russian pay-TV channel business Viasat, and will launch five new HD channels in 2015.
MTG has owned 50 per cent of Raduga Holdings S. A., the principal owner of LLC DalGeoCom, which operates Raduga TV, since February 2010. Raduga TV launched in February 2009 and has offered a wide range of Russian and international channels all across Russia.
“This has been a very difficult decision taken with the other shareholder, given the impact it will have on employees, customers, suppliers, and all of the other stakeholders of the business. Over the past year Raduga has worked very hard exploring all options for obtaining the right licence, which despite their efforts has not been granted. We therefore have no choice but to close down the operations. We are working hard to move our subscribers to another satellite operator and will make an announcement by December 6,” advised Irina Gofman, EVP/CEO of Russia and CIS and Pay-TV Emerging Markets. “The decision does not affect our successful pay-TV channel business Viasat, were we will launch five new HD channels in 2015. Viasat offers 15 channels in Russia, five of which are among the country’s 20 most popular channels,” she added.
The value of MTG’s participation in Raduga Holdings S. A. was written down 100 per cent in February 2014, and accordingly MTG’s Q4 2013 results included a SEK 147 million non-cash and non-recurring impairment charge in the Group’s operating income. The decision was based on the ongoing uncertainty and lack of visibility surrounding the licensing status and requirements for Raduga TV. The adjustment in satellite subscriber numbers for Pay-TV Emerging Markets will be accounted for in MTG’s 2014 Q4 results.