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  1. #1

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    Disney to launch Russian network

    Posted: Thurs., Feb. 5, 2009, 8:04am PT

    Disney to launch Russian network

    Company to buy 49% stake in Media One TV

    By Nick Holdsworth
    Variety

    BERLIN — Walt Disney is planning to spend $233 million in a deal that would enable it to establish a national television network in Russia.

    The company, which already has a cinematic presence in Russia, will push ahead with plans for a Disney television network once it receives regulatory approval for a deal that involves acquiring a 49% stake in Media One TV, which runs channels in 30 of the country’s 89 regions.

    The size of the deal has raised eyebrows in Russia’s television industry, where the economic downturn is predicted to slash advertising revenue this year by some 30%.

    Ivan Tarvin, the 32-year-old owner of Media One TV, said the cash value of the deal — which was agreed last October but needs Russian federal monopoly commission approval to go ahead — was not on broader criteria than the market value of a 49% share in his company.

    The free-to-air channel will screen Disney programming and original Russian-made content. Disney Russia spokeswoman Elena Yamshikova told Variety the deal was being studied by the Russia’s anti-monopoly commission.
    Disney to launch Russian network - Entertainment News, International News, Media - Variety

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney to launch Russian network

    They have television in Russia?

    (Kidding)
    *******************************
    "You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality." -Walt Disney

  3. #3

    • Geoff London
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    Re: Disney to launch Russian network

    Quote Originally Posted by mdeorian View Post
    They have television in Russia?

    (Kidding)
    Yes it's called televiski (I'm kidding too)
    Now I'll turn that little mouse's dream into a nightmare Fantasmic !



  4. #4

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    Re: Disney to launch Russian network

    Not so fast Disney...

    Russia anti-trust body rejects Disney venture

    By Simon Shuster and Gina Keating

    MOSCOW/LOS ANGELES, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Russia's anti-monopoly agency on Friday blocked Walt Disney Co's local television venture, derailing the media giant's plan to create a free, Disney-branded channel to expand in the high-growth market.

    The agency, which also blocked Google Inc's bid for a Russian company in October, said it refused to allow the venture after receiving 'false' or inaccurate information from the companies applying to create Mo-Tv Holdings Ltd.

    Disney said in December it was partnering with broadcaster Media-One Holdings Ltd to launch a nationwide, free TV channel to carry locally created and Disney content in 2009.

    A spokeswoman at Disney's headquarters in Burbank, California had no comment on the government's statement.

    The ruling is a setback to Disney's aggressive efforts since Chief Executive Robert Iger took over in 2005 to move into the Russian and Eastern European markets, which had been expected to buck the global economic downturn and offset slower growth in the company's more established markets.

    Disney had been counting on the TV channel to raise brand awareness and support the local retail, theatrical distribution, licensing, mobile and Internet businesses it already operates in Russia -- a strategy it has employed with some success in China and India.

    The venture would have given Disney access to roughly 100 million Russian viewers, who it said were already familiar with its stories and products.

    Disney shares closed down about 1 percent at $17.53 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

    'FALSE INFORMATION'

    Under Russia's strict laws governing the airwaves, foreign investors must have a local partner, and Media-One was to hold a 51 percent stake in the nationwide venture.

    The anti-monopoly agency's strongly worded statement on Friday did not mention the possibility of an appeal. Its press department was not available late on Friday to elaborate.

    'The documents, presented to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service of Russia, included false information,' the agency said in explanation of the move.

    'The anti-monopoly body takes the decision to refuse applications if the relevant information they contain turns out to be false,' the agency said in a statement.

    The agency has been stepping up its presence over recent months as part of a plan to build the service into one of the government's most powerful agencies.

    Russia's anti-monopoly service has been under the spotlight since Vladimir Putin, Russia's Prime Minister, demanded the anti-trust service become more active.

    Disney operates 30 Disney Channels worldwide, mainly on cable and other forms of pay TV, and sees them as crucial to familiarizing international consumers with its theme parks, movies and consumer products.

    The company faces regulatory, language and infrastructure hurdles to rapid expansion in China and India, but had considered Russia a desirable market because those issues were viewed as less of a barrier to growth.

    Disney had pledged to provide the Russian channel with an undisclosed investment in cash and programming, as well as marketing expertise.

    Media-One brought 30 owned and operated TV stations and a knowledge of the Russian regulatory environment to the table.

    (Editing by Edwin Chan, Bernard Orr) Keywords: DISNEY RUSSIA/

    ([email protected]; +7 495 775 1242)

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    UPDATE 2-Russia anti-trust body rejects Disney venture - Forbes.com
    "If you build it right, they will come." - Bob Iger

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