MTV Russia to close

MTV Russia is to disappear from the airwaves on June 1 next year, with its place taken over by a new youth, information and entertainment-based channel named Pyatnitsa.

The news was given by Nikolay Kartozia, the head of ProfMedia TV, in a wide-ranging interview in Kommersant, confirming earlier reports in the Russian media about MTV Russia’s possible closure.

He added that MTV Russia’s audience share has become stuck at around 1.5-2%, with the channel facing strong competition from the internet and the MTV brand no longer effective.

MTV Russia was launched in 1998 and has been operated by ProfMedia TV’s parent company ProfMedia, under licence from Viacom, since 2007.

Commenting on the break-up with the MTV brand, Kartozia said “we have agreed with Viacom on future relations, and according to these agreements all financial and legal details are our trade secrets.”

Pyatnitsa will target viewers aged 25-35, unlike MTV Russia’s demographic, which is 14-34, with a nucleus of 18-24.

It will aim to secure an audience share of 4% in three years.

ProfMedia has a number of media interests including the production company Central Partnertship.

Its TV interests, grouped under ProfMedia TV, also include the channels TV3 and x2.