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Russia’s Star seals JV with NMG

Russia’s Star Media has inked a partnership with CTC Media parent company National Media Group (NMG) to coproduce premium programming.

Vlad Ryashin

The pact sees the creation of Star Media Vision, a 50/50 joint venture that has a first-look agreement with NMG. The latter company is behind Russian broadcaster CTC and its four sister channels, and leading FTA broadcaster Channel One, Ren TV, Channel 5 and nine-month-old OTT service More TV.

Star Media Vision will produce TV series and movies for the broadcast and digital platforms of NMG, in partnership with its year-old NMG Studios subsidiary, as well as for other customers. The first projects of the joint venture will be released in 2020.

After launching less than a year ago, More TV is in the SVoD and AVoD sectors and recently unveiled its first slate of original series, one of which is an adaptation of Yes Studios’ Israeli crime drama Your Honor from Star.

The news of the Russian adaptation of Your Honor, created by Ron Ninio and Shlomo Mashiach, comes soon after a US adaptation was announced by Showtime, starring Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad).

Vladislav Ryashin, Star Media’s CEO and general producer, told C21 of the NMG alliance and Your Honor deal at last week’s NEM conference in Zagreb, Croatia.

“The combination of the creative potentials of Star Media and NMG Studios will open up new opportunities for the production of successful projects both for the domestic market and for the production of joint projects with international colleagues,” he said.

“Star Media is one of the largest content producers,” added Olga Paskina, CEO of NMG. “Our partnership began a few years ago when we jointly launched a number of pay TV channels of the Star Media family.

“The relationship is becoming even more strategic and will cover the production of content for our broadcast channels and for the More TV platform, as well as a number of international projects.”

“This agreement will enhance the production capacities of NMG Studios, increase the quantity of high-quality product on the channels of the holding, and help to produce more content for the entire market as a whole,” added Vyacheslav Murugov, president of NMG Studios.

As well as its pay and free TV and OTT assets, NMG also owns: numerous newspapers and print publications; prodcos Art Pictures Vision, KeyStone Production, Metrafilms and Vodorod Film; St Petersburg television station Channel 78; and Viasat Russia.

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