Russia's NTV channel targets Russians in U.S.

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MOSCOW--Russia's second-largest national TV channel, NTV, and its sister company, NTV Plus, are targeting Russian-speaking viewers in the U.S. with the launch of its Echostaress satellites.

"U.S. Russians will now have a universal outlet to get objective and balanced information in their language about what's happening in their home country and around the world," says Andrei Kolossovsky, vice chairman of the board of directors for Media Most, the Russian media companyaffiliated with NYV. "(NTV will also) keep them in touch with history, modern trends, culture and the arts in Russia."

NTV and NTV Plus channels will be broadcast from Russia via DISH Network satellites. Customers will be charged $25 a month for a combined NTV and NTV Plus package.

NTV is targeting almost a million Russian-speaking households in the U.S. Petr Orlov, a director for the newly launched channel, expects the number of subscribers to reach 50,000 to 60,000 in its first year.

The channel will broadcast NTV's most popular Russian programs, includ-ing political programs such as Itogy (or "Results," a weekly political show), news programs and special programs for those who live in the U.S. NTV Plus will broadcast Russian films and programs for children in Russian.

The channel will carry no advertising in its initial few weeks, Mr. Orlov says.

Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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