Modern Times Group is to acquire a further 35% in Viastrong, its Ukrainian DTH operation, from partner Strong Media Group. The undisclosed cash payment will take MTG’s holding in the venture to 85%. It is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010.
“Viasat Ukraine has made a promising start and is continuing to grow its premium subscriber base in the second most populated market in the region,” said Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO, MTG. “The demand for our range of high quality local and international TV entertainment is clear, and we are committed to continuing to invest in the development of the platform in what is one of Europe’s most exciting pay-TV markets.”
MTG signed its joint venture agreement with Strong in September 2007, launching Viasat Ukraine the following April. It offers Ukrainian, Russian and international third party channels as well as Viasat’s own branded channels TV1000 East, TV1000 Russian Kino, TV1000 Action East, Viasat Sport East, Viasat History and Viasat Explorer.
Viasat’s Baltic and Ukrainian DTH satellite pay-TV platforms added 9,000 net new premium subscribers in the fourth quarter and MTG reported continued subscriber uptake.