Media companies aim for Russian expansion

06 July 2010

MOSCOW: Global media companies such as Fox and Sony are looking to expand their reach in Russia, both on the web and via mobile phones.

Fox, which is part of News Corporation, is currently in talks with MTS, Russia's biggest mobile operator, about potentially distributing content via these platforms.

Sony is in similar negotiations with MTS about the possibility of streaming film and TV shows through the Russian firm's online and mobile portal,, the biggest legal source for this material in the country.

MTS has already agreed deals with Walt Disney and NBC Universal as it seeks to expand the amount of material available on

At present, this property offers one million music tracks, 750 film titles, 90 TV series, 400 episodes of TV programmes and 10,000 music videos.

"We have negotiated with all the major US and Russian studios," said  Mikhail Shamolin, chief executive of MTS.

Broadband penetration is currently estimated to stand at 25% in Russia, although this total is expected to rise dramatically in the near future.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff