Russian TV companies Gold Vision, VI merge

Prod'n Perestroika

MOSCOW — Russia’s flourishing domestic TV production scene took a leap forward on May 30 with the announcement of a merger between two top companies, producer Gold Vision and advertising broker-agency Video International (VI).

The newly formed company, named Studio 2V, combines the resources and financial might of Video International, exclusive ad broker to Channel 1 ORT and pubcaster RTR, with the creative skills of brothers David and Tigran Keosayan, who have produced both popular movies and TV series.

Joining them is Tatiana Voronovich, who leaves her current job as chief of production at RTR to take the managing director role at 2V. She has worked with the Keosayans on a number of successful projects, including their 1997 hit film comedy “Little Sasha,” which Tigran Keosayan helmed and David Keosayan and Voronovich produced.

“The total of our merger amounts to more than just one plus one,” Voronovich said. “Together we can produce quality programming cheaper, faster and offer it more cheaply to our clients.”

Mid-priced fare

She added that initial focus would be on medium-priced fare coming in at around $25,000-$30,000 an episode, with another priority being to build up a library — currently the two companies have around 1,500 hours of programming between them — to peddle locally, as well as around the former USSR and Eastern Europe.

Though no one was commenting on exact financial details of the merger, the share swap looks likely to be weighted in VI’s favor. VI’s DG Maxim Boiko stressed that the outfit would also be looking for outside investment.

Aside from its dominating ad role for top channels, VI also produces gameshows and other entertainment programming. Its political position also looks strong, assured by the fact that Russia’s current press minister Mikhail Lesin was one of the company’s founders, and is believed to remain its main shareholder.

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