CTC Media, one of Russia’ s leading independent media companies, could soon become part of state-controlled Rostelecom, according to sources quoted in Vedomosti today, who are claiming that the two organisations are in the early stages of negotiation.
CTC Media – which manages the CTC, Domashniy, Peretz and CTC Love Russian TV channels as well as Kazakhstan’s Channel 31 and enjoys a combined audience of over 150 million viewers – is currently 75% controlled by foreign media owners, primarily Sweden’s MTG (39%) and Cyprus Telcrest (25.4%). That ownership structure was called into question in October last year, however, when new legislation was introduced restricting the foreign shareholding in Russian media organisations to 20% as from January next year.
The international version of CTC is available in North America, Europe, Central Asia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Middle East and Kyrgyzstan, while Peretz‘s international franchise is available in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. CTC Media also owns several digital entertainment media assets including videomore.ru, domashniy.ru, ctc.ru and peretz.ru.