Raduga TV chief quits as interior ministry begins investigation

Raduga TVThe CEO of troubled Russian pay TV operator Raduga TV has resigned following the launch of a criminal investigation into the company for allegedly operating without an appropriate licence, according to local reports.

According to Itar-Tass, Olga Abramova, who was named CEO of Raduga TV in July, having previously served as deputy CEO, has quit the company, and her duties have been taken over by chief financial officer Inna Chernysheva on an interim basis.

Abramova’s departure follows the launching of a criminal investigation into the company by the Russian ministry of the interior yesterday, following a request by regulator Roskomnadzor last November. The Roskomnadzor alleges that Raduga TV, which is 50% owned by Modern Times Group and 50% by Continental Media, has been providing satellite broadcasting services without a licence.

Under Russia’s complex media laws, satellite broadcasters must apply for their own licence unless channels owned by an existing licence-holder are retransmitted unchanged.

Raduga TV is the fourth-placed Russian satellite pay TV operator, with a subscriber base of about 445,000 at the end of June.