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NTV+ in advanced talks to acquire Red Media

Russian pay TV operator NTV+ is in advanced talks to acquire local niche channel provider Red Media. The Gazprom Media-owned broadcaster submitted an application for permission to acquire the company, owned by businesswoman Natalia Melnikova, to the country’s Federal Antimonopoly Service.

According to Russian business daily Vedomosti, Gazprom Media confirmed the pair were in late-stage talks. Red Media CEO Roman Stolarski told the paper no deal had yet been struck.

NTV+ already owns the agency that handles Red Media’s advertising sales, while Red Media has a contract to distribute NTV+ channel Kinolyuks to cable operators.

Red Media owns a stable of 13 channels, including 365-days TV, HD Life, STV, joint-venture channel Europa Plus TV, Auto Plus, Boyets, India TV, Interesnoye TV, Komediya TV, Kukhnya TV, Lya-minor, Mnogo TV and Russian Nights.

The channels are distributed on a range of pay TV platrorms including NTV+, Tricolor TV, Orion Express, Akado and Rostelecom, with a reach of about 100 million people and an average audience ranging from 1.1 million to 10.5 million. The company turned in revenues of RUB757 million in 2012.