The Walt Disney Company has announced it is going to acquire 49 percent in a joint venture with Media-One Holdings of Russia to launch a Disney-branded free-to-air TV channel in Russia in early 2009.
Media-One owns and operates 30 regional TV stations in Russia which are currently affiliated with various TV networks or programmed locally. According to business daily newspaper Kommersant, the TV stations could be valued at between $200 million and $300 million.
Walt Disney plans to invest cash and provide programming and marketing expertise and content acquisition support in return for its stake in the Russian TV broadcasting joint-venture.
Media-One Holdings’ major shareholders include Ivan Tavrin (former President of TV3 network), Igor Mishin (VP of National Association of Television, founder of Channel4 media holding in Yekaterinburg) and Renaissance Private Equity Fund I.