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Sistema looks to expand Stream TV

Russian media firm and pay TV operator Sistema Mass Media, the owner of pay TV service Stream, is eyeing the launch and acquisition of a number of new television channels through its Stream division.

This comes as the company announced its latest financial results. 
”In the TV division, the [company] intends to increase its base of own non-terrestrial channels on local and external networks,” it noted in a statement. “For the remainder of 2011, Sistema plans to continue expanding across all business lines through both organic growth and M&A.”

The company’s stated goal is to create the largest non-terrestrial TV broadcaster in Russia and to expand the number of content packages and operator clients it serves.

Stream had 5.6 million subscribers at the end of June, up 11.4% year-on-year.

Stream’s advertising revenues grew substantially, up almost 500% to US$1.2 million (€850,000). Overall net income was up 117.5% to US$2.4 million.

Stream produces nine channels and aggregates about 100 others, with distribution via MTS’s network in Moscow and the surrounding region. The bulk of its revenues – about 76% – comes from distribution of its services to third-party subscribers.

Sistema Mass Media posted revenues of US$48.4 million for the first half, up 1.1% on the previous year. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation was US$15.1 million, down from US$20.4 million due to fluctuations in subsidiary Russian World Studios’ production cycle, while net loss fell 25.6% to US$6.7 million.

The company, which also operates a mobile TV service that aggregates over 100 channels, is looking to launch an in-car DVB-T service in Moscow.

“Six channels have been transferred to MPEG-4 format, while work is under way with partners to develop and test in-car signal reception and viewing equipment. Also, transmission licences were extended, and potential markets were researched. The plan is to launch the service on the mass market at the end of 2011.”