Russian networks are in a sudden splurge drive as they compete with one another to bring the latest and best shows to the country. CTC Media, a major Russian TV giant has just signed an exclusive deal worth millions with HBO to showcase a huge number of series that include the popular Westworld and The Knick. These shows will air on its network, Che.
Calling this move a part of their latest strategy, the CEO of the company said that the network aims at differentiating itself from the rest through the introduction of hugely popular foreign series. It is for this purpose that last year, they released a brand new time slot that is dubbed, “The Big Series”. It currently showcases Lilyhammer and Breaking Bad. Latest to show in this time slot is Mr. Robot.
This is the first time CTC Media is entering a licensing agreement. Earlier, REN TV and Wyctim that is owned by NMG had the license to show HBO content. It was also the channel responsible for broadcasting the hugely popular HBO series, Game of Thrones.
Over the years though, Western television has grown in popularity with Russian viewers as many more local channels are now stepping up the game and luring in viewers by offering exclusive content. This is necessary for the channels to survive if they want to stay competitive with online video streaming services that have for long offered these foreign series options.
Yet another series that CTC Media has acquired exclusive rights to in Russia is the controversial, “The Young Pope” that will begin airing on Easter day.
In response to CTC and their attempt to bring foreign shows, NMG and YuTV have both began signing licenses and contracts with Hollywood content providers for better shows and bring major series to Russia.