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Russia’s CTC to skew younger

Russian advertising sales rise 11%

COTTBUS, Germany

Russia’s CTC Media TV network plans to skew its programming toward a younger audience to take advantage of higher advertising revenues for the demo.

The announcement, made Wednesday during CTC’s third-quarter financial report, reflects a TV advertising market that is growing on the back of products aimed at younger, wealthier viewers.

The company, which runs three channels in Russia — CTC, Domashny and Peretz — as well as Channel 31 in Kazakhstan, said revenue was up 2% to $162 million, driven by an 11% rise in advertising sales.

Net profit, adjusted for one-off charges related to the planned shift to digital broadcasting, stood at $27.5 million.

From next year, the target audience for CTC will shift from 6-54 year olds, to 10-45 year olds; Peretz will migrate from 25-59 year olds to the 25-49 demo; Domashny will continue to target females 25-59.

“The decision to narrow the target audiences primarily reflects the company’s expectation that it will continue higher audience shares and more advertising revenue in the new demographics,” said CTC Media CEO Boris Podolsky.

“CTC maintained its place as the fourth most-watched broadcaster in Russia in its new target demographic of 10 to 45 years old,” Podolsky said. “Its average audience shares were down year-on-year, primarily reflecting a decreased amount of first-run content on air compared to the third quarter of 2011, as well as increased competition and audience fragmentation.”

Popular shows, such as Turkish costume drama “Magnificent Century” and local comedies “Masha in Law,” “Daddy’s Daughters” and “Boarding School,” had helped maintain core audiences.

Russian TV advertising continues to bounce back after the recession with CTC reporting 95% of 2012 inventory sold and 2013 negotiations at higher prices already going well.

To maintain its competitive position, CTC Media is planning to bid for licences for its three key channels in Russia’s second digital multiplex license round next year.

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