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MTV returns to Russia

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) will relaunch MTV Russia later this year as a rival to the entertainment channel that is to replace it next month.

MTV Russia currently operates as a joint venture between VIMN and ProfMedia. However, this partnership comes to an end as of May 31.

It will then be replaced by a new, ProfMedia-owned net targeting 14-44s, called Friday and branded locally as Pyatnitsa, which is scheduled to start transmiting June 1.

Local reports suggest that ProfMedia is aiming to spend US$100m on the entertainment channel over the next two years.

Meanwhile, MTV Russia will return with a “new look” as a wholly-owned and operated VIMN channel on October 1 for the first time since its launch 15 years ago.

The channel will air local content alongside MTV programmes such as Jersey Shore and The Hills, dubbed into Russian.

“By taking full editorial and management control of MTV, we aim to strengthen its presence in the Russian market, which is a global priority for Viacom,” said David Lynn, executive VP and MD of VIMN UK.

VIMN also operates MTV Hits, MTV Dance, MTV Rocks and MTV HD in Russia, in addition to Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy.

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