CTC-International opens up to Israel

Russian media producer, CTC Media, has announced the launch of the CTC-International channel in Israel.

The announcement follows on from the launch of the CTC-International in the US last December. The international version of CTC includes content from the CTC, Domashny and DTV channels within the CTC media stable.

The company says that 1 million people, or 13% of the Israeli population, is Russian-speaking and that overall pay-TV market revenues are estimated at $230 million for FY 2009. CTC-International will be distributed on the Yes satellite platform and the HOT cable network, under 2-year non-exclusive distribution agreements, which have a combined total of about 120 thousand Russian-speaking subscribers. CTC Media CEO Anton Kudryashov says the Israeli opening is another step in the organizations global expansion plans.

“The launch of CTC-International in Israel is in line with our international expansion strategy and follows the introduction of the channel in the US at the end of last year. Israel is an attractive TV market, with 224 minutes of average daily household viewing in 2009, which is higher than in most European countries. Furthermore, there are over 1.5 million pay-TV subscribers in Israel, with pay-TV penetration of close to 80%, and cable and satellite pay-TV subscription rates are also relatively high.”

The Israeli broadcasters taking up the CTC Media programming believe the new channel will prove popular with Ron Hermelin, Head of Channels at HOT, noting that it will help fulfill demand for Russian language programming.

“HOT was the first company in the world to broadcast CTC content outside Russia, which we did on our Video On Demand platform. Given the popularity of the channel content among our subscribers and the demand for more Russian language programming, we are delighted to be able to add the CTC-International channel to our offering.”