Russia’s TV industry has seen its first major foreign investment in five years, with the Japanese-owned UMJ Russia Fund acquiring a stake in Gameland TV.
According to Vedomosti and AKTR, the fund has paid $3 million (€2.23 million) for a 30% stake in the channel’s parent company, Game Network.
Gameland TV is understood to have had revenues of around $1 million in 2009, with advertising accounting for 75% of the total and sales to mobile operators and other broadcasters the remainder.
Commenting on the acquisition, the fund’s managing partner Yusuke Otsubo said Gameland TV is very important for the Russian market, where internet penetration is growing. There is also a strong interest in Japanese pop culture among young Russian people and Gameland TV will be a good method for its distribution.
Gameland TV’s output will also translated into foreign languages, with a view to selling it to countries outside Russia.