NBC U beefs up its Russian TV arm

Gabuniya named managing director of unit

HOLLYWOOD — NBC Universal Global Networks has appointed Merab Gabuniya to the newly-created role of managing director Russia.

He will report to Colin McLeod, Global Networks’ managing director of Central Eastern Europe.

Based in Moscow, Merab will play a key role in establishing and growing NBC Universal’s channels across the country and building relationships with affiliate platforms and advertising sales clients in the region.

 Merab was deputy director of the AFK Systema group. He established Russia’s first IPTV platform, Stream TV, led Systema’s VOD project and was head of production and distribution of niche channels in Russia. 

Merab will be supported by Alla Prokhorova, marketing communications manager Russia. The pair will work closely with London-based Global Networks’ Central & Eastern Europe team.

NBC Universal Global Networks has been aggressively expanding its pay TV business in Russia.

Its portfolio includes the Hallmark Channel, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in Russia last year, Sci Fi and Universal Channel, which launched in May, and KidsCo, a joint venture with Corus and Cookie Jar Entertainment.

— Bobbie Whiteman

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