Russian TV firms in $US 400 MLN merger

Russian television company CTC Media has announced it will buy DTV Channel from its shareholder, Sweden's Modern Times Group, for around $US400 MLN.

CTC chief executive Aleksandr Rodnyansky said the network will increase CTC's exposure to the fast-growing Russian TV advertising market.

TV ads sales rose by 34% in Russia in 2007 to reach more than $US 4 billion dollars and are expected to grow another 28% this year.

CTC focuses on entertainment programming and is the fourth most-watched channel in Russia. Its main shareholders are Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group with 26% and Access Industries with 6%.