MTV Russia to close

MTV Russia is closing 14 years after the channel launched in the country.

Owner Profmedia has decided not to renew the licence it has held from Viacom Media Networks since 2007 for the MTV brand and associated content. A new general entertainment channel, Pyanitsa, will replace the channel in June 2013.

According to local reports, the number of viewers in the channel’s target group has decreased from 2.2% in 2010 to 1.6% last year.

MTV Russia launched in 1998, with Profmedia acquiring the licence in 2007.

An MTV spokesperson said that it is currently exploring a number of opportunities for MTV in Russia and will continue to air four music channels (MTV Hits, MTV Dance, MTV Rocks and MTV HD) in the market.

The companies noted in a joint statement: “Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) and ProfMedia have mutually agreed to dissolve their partnership at the end of May 2013. The two companies have enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration since 2007, most recently celebrating year-on-year ratings gains for MTV in 2012. Russia remains a critically important market to VIMN, and they’re currently exploring many opportunities for MTV. Russian fans of the brand will continue to have access to MTV’s four music channels (MTV Hits, MTV Dance, MTV Rocks, MTV HD) that are operated by VIMN in Russia, in addition to Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy.”

“While the two companies have different visions for the future, both VIMN and ProfMedia are committed to providing Russian audiences with the best in music and entertainment through their new ventures,” it added.