Despite Economic Decline and Political Turmoil, Pay TV is Growing in Russia

March 23, 2016  | Subscribers Only

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At CSTB 2016 – the major pay TV and telecoms exhibition and conference, held in Moscow – Russia’s pay TV industry showed surprising signs of health despite a gloomy macroeconomic and political background.

The Russian economy continued to slow in 2015 as a result of lower private consumption and reduced investment activity. The highly unfavourable investment conditions were already taking toll on the Rouble and the local asset markets. The country’s bureaucratic regime, backed by a dysfunctional legal system, created unsatisfactory investment environment for both foreign and domestic investors. The economic sanctions against Russia and the worsening of the political relationships with the United States and the European Union exacerbated the financial difficulties of the world’s largest country. Falling oil and gas prices also had a negative effect on the federal budget; exporting oil and gas used to supply around half of the overall budget.

The environment was significantly worsened for investors in the media industry with the introduction of new legislation limiting foreign ownership of local media companies to 20% and a ban on pay TV advertising (examined in detail in our report, Frosty times for Russian pay TV.


• Pay TV revenue has increased by 20.49% in Russia last year, according to IHS TV Intelligence
• Tricolor revenue increased by 45.57% in 2015 (Source: IHS)
• Pay TV executives however, said that exchange rate fluctuations will negatively affect pay TV operators, who buy in equipment and programme rights from other countries
• Restrictions on foreign ownership of pay TV channels have required US companies to restructure their operations
• So far, only NBCUniversal has shut down its Russian channels
• A ban on advertising on pay TV channels has also been introduced, though it does not apply to channels with a terrestrial licence

In this report:

Tables and Charts

Tables and Charts:

Figure 1: $/RUB Exchange rate (the value of $1.00 in terms of Roubles for 2013-2015),

Table 1: Top 5 pay TV operators in Russia,

Table 2: Russia: disposals of foreign pay TV channels,

Table 3: All day audience share,

Table 4: Pay multichannel TV operators.

Number of Pages: 8

Number of Tables and Charts: 5

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