The Russian media group Gazprom Media, which acquired online video site RuTube in 2008, has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in Russia’s leading pay-TV platform Tricolor TV operated by National Satellite Company, announced the group. The deal value was not disclosed.
Launched in December 2005, Tricolor TV (Триколор ТВ) has more than 5 million customers and 3.5 million paid subscribers. Tricolor TV uses Eutelsat’s W4 satellite to broadcast to the European part of Russia and Russian Satellite Communications Company’s Bonum-1 satellite to broadcast to Siberia. The satellite pay-TV operator targets a mass-market segment, which will increase a subscriber base of NTV-PLUS, a premium-market satellite pay-TV subsidiary of Gazprom Media to over 6 million subscribers.
Tricolor TV is the largest Russian pay-TV operator by a number of paid subscribers. Its subscriber base exceeds the ones of Comstar-UTS, ER-Telecom, Mutiregion and NTV-PLUS. The Tricolor TV’s annual revenue run-rate is estimated at $70 million. The Russian pay-TV market including both cable TV and satellite TV reached $1 billion in 2008.